What Role Does Health Sitting Play in Patient-Centered Healthcare?

happy patient with health sitter

Today, healthcare systems are more backed up than ever. There’s a shortage of doctors, nurses, and other clinicians in medical and care facilities. There aren’t enough beds or staff to meet the demand of sick patients.

Patients that are fortunate enough to get treated in the hospital often have limited interaction with their care providers and can be left alone for extended periods of time. Often, family members are unable to visit, leading to patients who are lonely and stressed. The stress caused by a lack of social contact can lead to increased inflammation, slower recovery, and longer hospital stays.[1]


Overburdened Providers & Lonely, Stressed Out Patients

So what’s the solution to the problem of overburdened healthcare providers and patients who are often isolated and stressed, ultimately leading to slower recovery and longer hospital stays?

The solution is providing patients with access to professional “health sitting” services in hospitals and long-term care facilities. Health sitters are professional companionship care providers that bridge the gap between the often-minimal social interaction that clinicians can provide and what family/friends can offer.


The Role Health Sitters Play in Patient-Centered Care

According to the Institute of Medicine, patient-centered care is defined as “Providing care that is respectful of, and responsive to, individual patient preferences, needs and values, and ensuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions.” [2]

There are various definitions of patient-centered care, but common elements include care focusing on physical comfort in addition to emotional wellbeing. The presence of family members is encouraged and facilitated.

The only problem with the current model is that oftentimes, family members are not able to be present with the patient due to time constraints, distance, or a number of other factors. That’s where health sitters can provide a great benefit of being a trusted companion when family is not able. [2]


How SitByCare Helps Patients & Providers

SitByCare provides on-demand health companionship to ensure no patient ever has to live with loneliness. Patients get matched with health sitters that fit patients’ needs and preferences, including language preferences. Pairing patients with health sitters can help patients recover faster and facilitate shorter hospital stays. This alleviates some of the burden placed on medical and care facilities. Contact SitByCare today to learn more about healthcare partnerships.

References:

“Do Hospital Visitors Impact Patient Outcomes?” Clinical Correlations, https://www.clinicalcorrelations.org/2018/08/03/do-hospital-visitors-impact-patient-outcomes/.

Catalyst, NEJM. “What Is Patient-Centered Care?” NEJM Catalyst, https://catalyst.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/CAT.17.0559.

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