3 Keys to Improving the Pediatric Patient Experience: Comfort, Communication, and Education

Clinical Innovation leader, Heather Wood, CPXP, shares recommendations for using in-room technology to improve communication, comfort, and education for pediatric patients and their caregivers.

A hospital stay is a daunting experience for anyone, especially children who do not yet have the life experience to help them understand where they are and why. Not only is their regular routine disrupted, but they are also in an unfamiliar environment. This can lead to increased fear, anxiety, and stress for pediatric patients and their families. For these reasons alone, it’s critical for hospitals and health systems to prioritize the unique needs of children and their caregivers when designing the care environment and clinical workflows.

During a recent webinar, Heather Wood, eVideon’s VP of Clinical Innovation, recently shared best practices for elevating communication, comfort, and education throughout the pediatric inpatient experience. Read on for Heather’s three recommendations for how hospitals can leverage our Vibe Health smart room platform to empower pediatric patients and their loved ones.

1. Comfort

When a child enters a hospital room, the priority should be to create the most welcoming and comforting space possible. Children, and their caregivers, are more than likely overwhelmed, maybe even intimidated, scared, and physically uncomfortable. Providing familiar sights, sounds, and the comforts of home can have a tremendous impact on their emotional and physical wellbeing.

Patient engagement and empowerment are feelings, and the TV in the patient room or a bedside tablet can be highly effective tools for creating and fostering those feelings. Our hospital clients leverage the flexible configurations offered through our Engage TV and Companion Tablet solutions to design child-friendly interfaces that incorporate familiar graphics and imagery—popular logos or icons, a favorite animal, a fictional character, or an image of another child that looks like them smiling back. Some of our hospital clients even match the design of their in-room technology with the theme of their unit or floor, such an “under the sea” or “woodland creatures.”

Entertainment and relaxation aids can also provide patients and their families with much needed comforts of home. Simple features such as white noise options or a soft moon night light on the TV can put patient at ease. Additionally, our platform can be tailored to any specific patient population, delivering movies and TV shows rated G and PG, as well as interactive games. Through our partnership with Coro Health, patients can choose a therapeutic music experience, or connect with their faith through spiritual care offerings. A good example may be if the child wants to have a sing-along or even listen to a church choir of their choosing. Again, all with the purpose of providing familiarity and comfort.

2. Communication

While familiarity can instill comfort, so can clear and consistent communication. In the hospital environment, people are regularly moving in and out of the patient’s room and information is often exchanged in passing or during handoffs. All too often, the voice of the patient, and their caregiver, gets lost.

The Vibe Health platform integrates withthe hospital’s electronic medical record (EMR) to ensure that accurate and reliable information is available to patients, caregivers, and clinicians in real-time and on multiple devices, including an in-room digital whiteboard, digital door sign outside the patient room, and bedside tablet. For example, notices such as “Greet me, I am autistic” can be displayed on our Aware digital door sign outside the patient room. This type of information helps clinicians prepare more effectively prior to entering the patient’s room, while also ensuring they have the information necessary to have a meaningful interaction with their patient.

For pediatric patients, it is important for family members and loved ones to know who is coming in and out of the patient’s room. Not only is it critical for caregivers who are supporting the patient, but it is also for the safety and overall comfort of the patient. Our Insight digital whiteboard integrates with the hospital’s Real-Time Location Services (RTLS) system to display the picture, name, and role of everyone coming into the room. We can also display the date and time of the visit as well as the visit history; this is especially useful when a caregiver cannot be present at the time of the doctor’s visit or if the patient is resting during shift change. Leveraging in-room technology as a communication tool helps to ensure the delivery of safe and highly reliable care.

3.  Education

Pediatric patient education is unique, and as a recipient of the 2023 Top Company is Patient Education from AVIA Connect, we take that very seriously. Through our partnerships with many patient education companies such as Health Nuts Media, Healthwise, WebMD Ignite, we simplify the delivery of, and access to the educational content that has been specifically designed for pediatric patients.

Using our Engage TV solution, nurses can assign patient education directly through the EMR and deliver that educational content in video form directly to the patient’s room. The content is written at a sixth-grade level or below and the videos are very short in length, mostly one to four minutes. Many videos are also animated, a format that our partners at Health Nuts Media have found to be more effective at capturing the attention of pediatric patients. Using the technology in the room, patients (and their caregivers) can watch all their assigned video content on the footwall TV and via our Companion Tablet at the bedside. With so much tailored information at their fingertips, they can feel more assured and confident during their stay and post discharge.

Designing the hospital experience with the end user in mind is critical to meeting the needs of pediatric patients during every moment of their stay. With our fully integrated Vibe Health platform, hospital leaders can remain focused on delivery the best care possible while pediatric patients and their families can focus on recovery.

Watch the full presentation of “Bringing Comfort and Communication to the Inpatient Pediatric Experience” on demand today! Watch Now >

Contact us today to take a personalized tour of the Vibe Health smart room platform: hello@evideon.com