Health Care

The ambulance as a patient-care touchpoint

December 11, 2012
Text Size:
The ambulance as a patient-care touchpoint
Life EMS Ambulance serves a 3,500-square-mile area in West Michigan. Courtesy Life EMS Ambulance

Health care folks increasingly are being rated for the way they relate to patients. The patient experience is one way to assess satisfaction with care –– since high-quality measures are often not known to patients, and the costs rarely are unknown. Patients and their families know and understand how they are being treated by providers.

Sophisticated measures have been developed to let providers know how they are viewed by their own patients. Hospitals, physicians and others routinely try to assess the patient experience of care, and many insurers require them to do so. Those that are highly regarded do not hesitate to point this out to payers and their communities. Patient and family opinions can mean a lot.

Now, the emergency medical field is also looking at the patient experience of care.

Health care scan be scary to many. Think of the apprehension and fear as a victim of an accident is being loaded into a sterile and metallic ambulance full of instruments with an emergency medical technician tending to him or her.

Grand Rapids-based Life EMS Ambulance recently showed a new concept at the annual American Ambulance Association trade show. Life EMS showed a new concept in interior design for ambulances to help to put patients more at ease and to improve the overall experience in a stressful time.

Soft interior colors, ambient lighting –– and even artwork in the emergency vehicle help to ease anxiety. Paintings in an ambulance? Remember that the father of Life EMS Ambulance’s Mark Meijer, Fred Meijer, for whom the Meijer Gardens are named, was a great champion of the arts, believing the eyes need something nice.

The new friendly design eventually will be used to replace the entire Life EMS Ambulance fleet. The design is combined with new safety concepts and improvements in how paramedics interact with patients during emergency transport.

A trip in an ambulance is not something most of us look forward to, but the new Life EMS Ambulance concept will help to make it a more patient-friendly experience.

Comments powered by Disqus