The Effective, Inclusive Patient Room of the Future is Now  

Digital whiteboards, seamless communication, and patient satisfaction  

Scott King, Chief Technology Officer, eVideon

Technology today might sometimes feel like an episode of the 1970s cartoon The Jetsons. We talk to each other over Zoom calls, digital assistants like Siri and Alexa answer our questions, and we can find nearly any facts or information within seconds on a device the size of a deck of cards. And while other industries have operated this way for years or even decades, healthcare is finally beginning to catch up. A recent Deloitte-Scottsdale Institute survey of health systems’ digital transformation initiatives found that 92% of health systems cited consumer satisfaction and engagement as a top goal of digital investments. Interactive, in-room technology can facilitate communication and ensure the delivery of meaningful information in an engaging and efficient way for patients and caregivers alike.

The future isn’t just EMRs.

Thinking about the room of the future means training ourselves not to think about systems in isolation, but to always be asking how systems can work together to produce a better net effect. The EMR was our “breakthrough” technology just years ago. But it’s time to think beyond that and ask, “what else is possible now? How can we leverage our EMR investments to automate more and do better?”

If we do this right, our EMR can work in concert with other technologies to elevate the whole hospital environment as it continues to evolve—future-proofing patient rooms, and creating meaningful, immersive experiences.

What does the patient room of the future look like?

Think about the last time you were in a hospital. Whether you were a patient or a concerned family member, having access to timely and accurate information probably helped ease the anxiety of being there and experiencing a healthcare event. Knowing what’s going to happen is powerful in creating positive patient experiences.

The room of the future can transform the exchange of information between care teams, patients, and loved ones.

One example of this was highlighted in a recent research study conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) in Boston, one of the top ranked hospitals in the U.S. BWH partnered with eVideon to research the impact of in-room digital whiteboards on communication and patient satisfaction in the Emergency Department. The study showed that 96% of participants preferred a room with a digital whiteboard as it improved communication and helped them feel more informed throughout their stay and prior to discharge. In addition, 70% said the digital whiteboard helped them better understand what was happening during their stay. Beyond keeping patients informed, leveraging eVideon’s integration with the EMR, vital patient information displays seamlessly, leaving little room for human error and allowing clinicians to focus on providing quality care. (Read the full research study summary.)

Beyond digital whiteboards, there are myriad ways to digitize formerly manual or paper-based items and processes. For healthcare, it is time to think like other consumer-focused industries and design with the healthcare consumer in mind. In a recent HBR article, John Glaser, former hospital CIO and long-time healthcare IT thought leader explained it clearly:“... patients are consumers all the time when they are making all sorts of decisions about their health and health care — e.g., whether to seek additional care, change physicians, take their medications, or stop smoking. As healthcare progressively moves to value-based care, where reimbursement is tied to outcomes and patient satisfaction, providers will be held accountable for the health-related decisions of consumers.”

The patient room of the future can help hospitals meet the growing demands of today’s healthcare consumer. Some examples include:

  • Bedside tablets for one-touch service. The days of hitting the nurse call button for a glass of water are over. Bedside tablets put the control in the hands of the patient by arming them with tools to request items or non-clinical services at any time without disturbing the nurses and taking them away from clinical work.
  • Video chatting to connect patients with loved ones. Often, whether due to isolation status or simply being far from home, patients can’t have their loved ones come to visit. But the comfort of talking with and seeing friends and loved ones is still so important to ease patient anxiety and provide an excellent patient experience. In the patient room of the future, patients will be able to connect with anyone, anytime. During the COVID-19 pandemic, eVideon’s partners at Spectrum Health enabled this technology, yielding an estimated 148%increase in patient connections over commercially available solutions. (Read the case study.)
  • Engaging education. Modern patient engagement platforms can address a patient by name and personalize their care experience by delivering customized education, entertainment, and relaxation to their bedside. As patients become more informed and start to feel like part of the care team, they can ask questions, raise concerns, and proactively prepare for discharge. The Room of the Future offers Integrated EHR, personalized patient education videos, and education that addresses literacy challenges, language and cultural needs.

At eVideon, we’re building fully responsive rooms of the future with our client partners. Imagine the patient room automatically adapting to a Code Blue event. Upon the Code Blue trigger, the room automatically lowers the room temperature a few degrees, and the patient TV automatically switches to a display of the patient’s most important stats and information, arming the care team with the most important knowledge at the most crucial time. A display outside the patient’s room shows a flashing alert, helping care team members quickly identify the room they’re urgently needed in. The technology exists today.

We’d love to talk with you about your vision for the patient room of the future. Get in touch with us to learn more!