We often hear questions from hospitals and health systems about the best way to engage patients at the bedside. Healthcare is embracing technology in new ways during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we’re beginning to see more and more tablets brought to the patient bedside. But tablets can be a significant investment and it’s important to think about all the benefits and drawbacks before making that decision. 

In the interview below, Clinical Solutions Director, military Veteran and RN Spencer Draper shares his expertise on the pros and cons of providing tablets at the bedside. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before bringing tablets to the bedside:

  1. What is your primary use case for tablets?

It’s important to evaluate what you hope to accomplish with your tablets. Are you displaying video education? Giving patients internet access? Allowing patients to video chat with loved ones? Order meals? Bedside tablets can do all of those things, but outlining your organization’s primary goals can help you decide whether you already have the tools you need, or whether you should invest in bedside tablets (or a different solution altogether.)

  1. Where will your tablets come from?

A lot of hospitals and health systems receive tablets as a donation or as part of another technology implementation. But if you don’t already have tablets at the ready, how will you procure them? How many do you need? And when you consider how many you might need, you should also ask yourself…

  1. Who will manage the tablets?

Often, the burden of tablet management falls on the nursing staff. Untethered tablets can frequently get lost, broken, or stolen, which means you may need to order extra tablets to replace them. Tablets can frequently get lost in the bed sheets and accidentally put in the washing machine. By simply attaching the tablets to an arm or engagement table will help decrease the need for nursing staff to manage and locate tablets. 

There are many other considerations when deciding whether tablets are right for your organization. Tablets can provide an outstanding patient experience when used and managed the right way. They can also connect patients to their loved ones, even when visitation policies are strict and limited. 

Watch the video below with clinical solutions director Spencer Draper to learn all about the benefits and drawbacks of bedside tablets.