There is a proverb in Slovakia that states, ‘Pure water is the world’s first and foremost medicine’, as with many proverbs and traditions, there is a lot of truth in this. There are a host of health benefits to remaining hydrated, but what many of us don’t realise, is that proper hydration is vital for healing and recovery, and should be the cornerstone of any healthcare environment. Today, we are discussing the benefits of providing hydration within medical establishments.
The National Patient Safety Agency state that dehydration is a patient safety issue. Indeed, many of the major ailments presenting within our hospitals and clinics can be improved by proper hydration, protecting against blood clot formation by decreasing our blood viscosity.
Individuals with diabetes are better able to manage their condition when hydrated, this is because diabetes increases the risk of dehydration, as high blood glucose levels lead to decreased hydration in the body. Hydration also helps to prevent pressure ulcers in long term patients, as proper hydration increases the levels of tissue oxygen.
The consequences of not hydrating can be severe; dehydration has been shown to increase the mortality of patients admitted to hospital with strokes two-fold. Dehydration also increases the length of time which patients presenting with community acquired pneumonia must stay in the hospital.
As well as assisting in healing and recovering, drinking water can prevent the formation of disease; studies have shown that people who maintain good levels of hydration have reduced risk of large bowel and breast cancer.
Hydration in older patients
A huge proportion of the patient population are over the age of 65, and this segment of patients have additional hydration requirements. Older adults have reduced thirst signals, and are more likely to experience acute or chronic illness. Despite requiring at least 1.6 litres of water per day, a recent study of UK care homes found that most residents only consumed between 480 – 960ml of water per day.
There are significant barriers to older people remaining hydrated, indeed, a recent study of older adults in residential care found that 46% of residents observed has either impending or current dehydration. As well as experiencing reduced thirst signals, older people are much more likely to have difficulty with their memories, and therefore are more likely to either forget to drink, or struggle to recall how much they have already drunk. They may also endure mobility problems, creating a physical barrier to hydration.
The economic benefits of hydration
We know of the many health benefits of drinking enough water, but did you know of the economic benefits? Proper hydration improves our cognitive function, strengthening concentration and focus, and decreasing the incident of mistakes within the workplace, including in medical staff. As well as reducing mistakes, hydration reduces the incidence of common ailments, and improves the effectiveness of medicines, therefore reducing the volume of medicine required, and patient’s length of stay.
Characteristics of healthcare hydration
Hydrating within healthcare environments presents a unique set of challenges. Any water dispenser used must be accessible, and easy to use due to the varied nature of individuals using healthcare services. However, the most important requirement of healthcare hydration is hygiene. The wrong choice of watercooler could result in bacteria infiltration or contamination, affecting patient recovery and health. With bottle top watercoolers, the drinking water is stored over time in an exposed reservoir, creating an ideal environment for bacterial growth. This reservoir often develops a biofilm, which is a coating of microbial matter, which can enter your watercooler. The sealed drinking water pipe used within our Direct Chill system ensures that your water is transported directly from the source to the dispense faucet, greatly reducing the chances of contamination and impurity in your drinking water. The Direct Chill systems have been designed with easy to use, soft touch buttons. Not only is this quick and simple for dispense purposes, but it also ensures that hands are kept away from the faucet itself, to further increase the hygienic protection of the system.
Healthcare professionals are increasingly choosing our b2 water dispenser as their cooler of choice for their healthcare environments. We’ve designed the b2 water dispenser to be comfortable, ergonomical, and easy to use. It is available in countertop or free standing configuration, both at an optimal height for interaction, complemented by soft touch buttons for ease of use.
Upgrade your healthcare hydration today
If you’d like to discuss providing your patients, visitors, and staff with hygienic, high end hydration, contact us today.