By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - One hundred years ago people who were experts in health care learned from experience that patients did better when they were in single rooms. Finally, many hospitals are beginning to realize that single rooms are a good idea, beyond luxury.
Studies have shown that being alone in a room can reduce the risk of infections, it can reduce medication errors, and allow privacy for the patient, family and physician. This news isn’t new.
Over the years, due to costs, patients have often been relegated to rooms with as many as three other patients. But this is clearly changing.
There is another benefit of the single patient room. Private rooms are calmer and they have lower noise levels. This helps keep blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate in check, along with improved pain control and sleep quality.