CHICAGO, Nov. 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- A new survey of hospital patients from Hill-Rom (NYSE: HRC) shows that heavier patients are more likely to experience embarrassment, self-consciousness and discomfort than lighter-weight peers. The findings paint a picture of people who continue to seek needed medical care despite the emotional toll it takes.
The survey underscored the need for hospitals to adapt to changing patient sizes. More than half of people over 250 pounds reported experiencing a doctor or nurse who was disrespectful to them during their stay. Seventy-one percent of the heaviest patients surveyed reported being somewhat or very physically uncomfortable during they stay.
"Patients of size often do not feel welcome in hospitals. While they are more at risk for health issues, too often they do not receive the same level of care or respect as normal-sized and merely overweight patients," says Sue Bunnell, RN, Manager of the Comprehensive Bariatric Center, Princeton Baptist Medical Center, Birmingham, Ala. "From the furnishings in the room to the sensitivity of the staff, it's vital that we make sure that all patients can receive quality health care in a dignified manner."
The survey was conducted online in October 2015 with a random sample of 502 people over age 18 who described themselves as significantly overweight during a hospitalization.
The vast majority of hospitals are ill-equipped to care for the bariatric population.1 As one of the nation's leading medical technology and equipment companies, Hill-Rom is working to help hospitals transform bariatric patient care by creating solutions that streamline workflow and ensure caregivers can provide safe, high-quality care while protecting patient dignity.
Helping Hospitals Meet Patient Needs
The Hill-Rom bariatric portfolio is aimed at helping hospitals meet the emotional and physical needs of this patient population by having the right technology and solutions in place to provide appropriate care. Among the company's offerings are the new Compella™ Bariatric Bed and the LikoGuard™ Lift system. The Compella Bariatric Bed features powered transport, length and width expansion, and on-board skin and lung therapies to provide a comfortable, dignified and clinically advanced care environment for hospitalized patients. The LikoGuard lift system ensures patient and caregiver safety with equipment that aids patient movement without the need to draw in large numbers of additional staff.
"Hospitals need equipment that can help them appropriately care for larger patients and that need has been increasing each year," says Carlyn Solomon, Chief Operating Officer, Hill-Rom. "Our bariatric portfolio is aimed at delivering state-of-the-art equipment and solutions specifically designed to meet the unique needs of bariatric patients and their caregivers."
Emotional Toll of Hospital Care
The heaviest patients in the survey (250+ pounds) reported dramatically higher rates of embarrassment experienced in the hospital. Sixty-seven percent of survey respondents said they found parts of their hospital experience very or somewhat embarrassing, and 82 percent reported being self-conscious about their weight during their stay. In contrast, just 46 percent of those who weighed 150-200 pounds said they experienced embarrassment.
Seventy-five percent of obese patients have at least one condition that complicates their
health – and increases their risk of dying. As a result, obese patients often require more frequent and more extensive health care.2 Indeed, the survey found that the heaviest patients were the least likely to say they had considered delaying needed medical care due to their experiences in the hospital.
"As health care providers, we need to provide a safe, clinically appropriate and welcoming environment for all our patients so we can help them get the care they need," said Bunnell.
Hill-Rom is a leading global medical technology company with approximately 10,000 employees worldwide. We partner with health care providers in more than 100 countries by focusing on patient care solutions that improve clinical and economic outcomes in five core areas: Advancing Mobility, Wound Care and Prevention, Clinical Workflow, Surgical Safety and Efficiency, and Respiratory Health. Around the world, Hill-Rom's people, products, and programs work towards one mission: Enhancing outcomes for patients and their caregivers.
1 Collignon A. Strategies for accommodating obese patients in an acute care setting. American Institute of Architects. Available at http://www.aia.org/practicing/groups/kc/AIAS076325.
2 Galinsky T, Hudock S, Streit J. Addressing the need for research on bariatric patient handling. Rehabil Nurs. 2010;35:242-247. Available at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/j.2048-7940.2010.tb00054.x/abstract
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