How Textiles Can Help Advance Behavioral Healthcare
By Medline Newsroom Staff | December 12, 2018
Many hospitals treat patients with behavioral health needs, even those without a designated behavioral health unit. In fact, one in five adults in America experience a mental illness, and hospitals concerned with patient experience must keep their specific needs in mind. That’s where textiles can play a vital, if surprising, role. Here’s some unexpected ways that textiles can support safety and comfort while achieving new levels of functionality.
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, and healthcare settings, often high-stress environments, need to limit ways for patients to harm themselves or others. Administrators and clinicians must consider anything tangible as a potential risk. This is where thoughtfully-designed textiles can play a part, like breakaway curtains that won’t sustain body weight or robes and gowns without ties and sheets without elastic. Hospitals need textiles that support the safety of their patients with behavioral health diagnoses.
It may be tempting to think of comfortable textiles as more perk than necessity, but that’s missing part of the larger bigger picture. “Small changes may end up having an outsized impact on decreasing anxiety and promoting recovery,” says Martie Moore, chief nursing officer at Medline. “Textiles can subtly promote healing, whether through the weight of heavy comforters that may decrease patients’ anxiety, or soft flannels or thermals that can provide a small but important measure of comfort to patients settling into an unfamiliar setting.” Look for opportunities to leverage comfortable products to further improve patient experience and promote healing.
When considering product choices, hospital administrators shouldn’t be afraid to ask products to perform “double-duty.” Do linens help decrease the spread of infectious diseases? Do gowns not only make patients feel covered and dignified, but also provide nurses convenient IV access? Does this textile not also advance the patient’s care? Innovative thinking and smart purchasing can help administrators source the best products both for their behavioral health patient populations and their hospital’s bottom line.
Learn more about ways textiles can support your hospital-wide priorities.