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Transforming The Customer Experience

How Healthcare Overhead Music Helps Both Patients and Staff

Posted Aug 16, 2018 8:00:00 AM

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In order for a healthcare office to thrive, patients have to trust their practitioners, and practitioners have to do their best work. Without this agreements, patients will question their healthcare recommendations and leave to work with other institutions.

If your practitioners are unhappy to the point where it’s affecting patient care, then they’re more likely to leave. This delicate balance has caused much stress in the healthcare world, as office managers try to create positive experiences for all parties involved.

One tool that office managers can use to please both their patients and their staff is healthcare overhead music. Through carefully-selected playlists and the right volume, you can help patients through the treatment process and improve the working experience for your staff.

Check out this deep dive into how music affects patients and makes employees more productive.

Music Therapy Is a Developing Field

As a whole, experts are still trying to figure out the full extent that music has on the human body and why. However, most researchers agree that music does have an effect on patient outcomes -- often for the better.

One study by John Radcliffe Hospital Oxford divided patients into two groups: one that listened to music while they underwent surgery under local anesthetic and one that didn’t.

The group that listened to music had on average 29% lower anxiety levels and a slower breathing rate.

When patients have lower stress levels in surgery, they’re likely to experience better outcomes as their body isn’t lingering in panic-mode. 

Psychology Today shared one study where patients listened to music twice per day and reported lower rates of pain for fibromyalgia, inflammatory disease, or neurological conditions. Patients also reported lower rates of anxiety and depression. The researchers speculated that music could be used to treat chronic pain by reducing the overall symptoms, making patients less dependent on medications. Currently, more than half of people across the world suffer from some form of chronic pain, making it a deep concern for many doctors and healthcare institutions.

Most researchers and doctors are working to better understand the healing power of music. They use music therapy to reduce anxiety and even to reduce pain and nausea in patients as they receive various treatments. They may not understand the full extent of why healthcare overhead music aids the treatment process, but that’s not going to stop them from using it.   

Music Makes Wait Times Seem Shorter

Music affects consumer behavior in almost any field. For example, shoppers spend an average of 38% longer in a grocery store when there’s background music as opposed to when there isn’t. Their perception of time is off, and they think time is passing faster than it is. 

Similarly, consumers say they would spend more time in a store that plays music they are familiar with, but studies show they actually spend more time when the music is different and new.

Either way, this is great for your waiting room times. If you invest in healthcare overhead music then your patients will either be happier because they are familiar with the music (and willing to wait) or they will feel like their waits are shorter because of the new tunes (making them happier). It’s a win-win regardless of the music you choose.

While these studies focus on how music affects shoppers and aren’t healthcare related, their principles can be applied outside of a retail environment.

Beverly Merz shared her own personal story of music dilating time on the Harvard Health Blog. When she went in for a mammogram, there was a string quartet playing out in the hall. This was part of the Environmental Music Program at Massachusetts General Hospital. Instead of worrying about the results of her exam or counting the minutes until the doctor came in and presented results, Merz spent her time trying to identify the composers and enjoying the music. Her stress levels were lower and time seemed to pass faster.

It doesn’t take much to add overhead music to your practice, but your patient happiness levels can increase significantly.
  

Music Can Also Improve Staff Performance

Along with improving that patient experience, many healthcare office managers want to make sure their staff members are happy and productive. If your employees are happy in their work, then they’re likely to do a good job and complete their tasks quickly.

Research has found that music actually makes people more productive. In particular, repetitive work and mundane tasks seem easier and are completed faster when music is played. In one study, assembly line workers were able to complete their work faster and reported higher levels of happiness in their positions.

Additionally, music makes people more attentive, meaning they are less likely to make a mistake or careless errors.

This is essential in the healthcare field. A minor error on a chart could mean patients are given the wrong medication or billed incorrectly. In some cases, errors could cause mislabeling or misdiagnosis, setting an organization up for a malpractice lawsuit.

All of this means healthcare overhead music can literally save patient lives by making your staff better at their jobs. Such a small addition can have a significant impact on your overall operations, including reduced patient waiting times and better treatments.  
  

Try Healthcare Overhead Music In Your Office

Over the next few years, researchers are bound to learn how music affects the human body. The potential for healthcare improvements and new treatments is exponential as we learn why the body and mind react so strongly to something so simple.

In the meantime, you can harness the power of music by broadcasting it overhead. From soothing classical pieces to new jazz and pop hits, you can curate playlists to soothe and entertain.

If you’re interested in adding healthcare overhead music to your business, contact Spectrio. Discuss your concerns with us and potential music needs. We can help you understand the scope of the music libraries you have to choose from and create a plan for sharing music with your staff and patients. And for more information, learn more about Overhead Music here.