Want to Elevate the Patient Experience? Start in the Hospital Room

Scott King, Chief Technology Officer at Vibe Health by eVideon discusses why the patient experience needs smart room technology

Patient care begins from the minute a patient is admitted to a hospital and continues all the way through post-discharge. For many individuals, a hospital stay may generate a lot of fear and anxiety, and that’s where today’s emerging technologies can help to empower patients and their caregivers throughout all stages of their journey. More specifically, smart room technology—or the utilization of various technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), tablets, smartphones, smart TVs, and digital whiteboards—can serve to modernize the care environment and ultimately enhance patient care inside and outside the four walls of the hospital.

Gone are the days of dry-erase whiteboards with outdated information hurriedly written by busy nurses in old markers. Today’s technology enables real-time integration with hospital electronic medical records (EMRs), which allows patients and providers to have a real-time view of relevant critical health information. All of this ensures a more tailored patient experience, while also maximizing the clinician’s ability to provide the most effective care.

I believe wholeheartedly that smart room technology plays an important role in the patient experience. This article provides three strategies for optimizing hospital rooms to be the smart rooms of the future.

Strategy 1: Turn the in-room TV into a clinical tool for patients and nurses.

Driving a more comfortable environment for patients, especially in the hospital room, starts with taking a patient-centric approach. Consider the hospital room TV for example.

Traditionally the television has been an entertainment mechanism for patients during their hospital stay. Today, using a Smart TV, hospitals can engage patients in their care plan with assigned education, meal-ordering, timely engagement prompts, or relaxation to soothe them to sleep after surgery. With the right software, the television is no longer simply an entertainment device; instead, it plays a critical role in a patient’s recovery process, with personalized content to meet their specific needs.

As for healthcare workers? They benefit from digitization too. Using the in-room Smart TV, patients can directly access ancillary hospital services without having to hit the nurse call button or call down to the nurse’s station. By making requests for non-clinical services via the in-room platform—ultimately providing a more self-service environment for patients—nurses can have more time and can do more work at the top of their licensure. Additionally, when the TV also functions as a digital whiteboard in the patient room, clinicians can split the screen to view important health information without interrupting the patient. When the Smart TV is used as a clinical tool for both patients and staff, hospitals can create more meaningful interactions for patients and their care teams.    

Strategy 2: Educate your patients before, during and after care.

Engaging patients through education is critical to preparing them for all stages of care, including life post-discharge. Integration with the hospital EMR makes it possible for clinicians to assign tailored education and push videos directly to the patient room via their in-room TV. This same integration automatically documents completion of assigned education back to the EMR, saving nurses from manual data entry.

Content should be designed with patient empowerment in mind, helping to support a patient’s sense of control and understanding in their care trajectory. In turn, ensuring accurate, current documentation in records allows nurses and clinicians to focus on essential aspects of preparation for patient discharge.

So, what happens once a patient leaves the hospital? After discharge, they may not recall the educational videos they saw in the room. This could be due to concerns about the initial reason for admission, the effects of post-surgery anesthesia, or preoccupation with an unexpected procedure. Providing access to the videos or offering links to a chatbot that is integrated with the hospital’s website ensures seamless access in case educational content is not integrated into the portal. This can also be a vital resource for family members or friends who assist with the patient’s post-op care at home.

In addition, these educational tools play a key role in informing patients and caretakers regarding medicine or extra treatment required following discharge.  Medical adherence (or lack thereof) is a major concern for most providers during the discharge process. It is imperative that patients understand their prescriptions prior to leaving the hospital. This is especially true if the facility does not have an outpatient pharmacy. And when the hospital does have an outpatient pharmacy, new prescriptions can be delivered to the patient before they are even discharged.

Strategy 3: Leverage integration to drive more value out of existing technology.

Growing financial pressures and staffing challenges continue to push hospitals to do more with less. Fully integrated systems ensure that hospitals are making the most of their current technology investment. For example, an integration between the Smart TV and the in-room PTZ camera enables hospitals to accelerate initiatives that are designed to support their nurses, such as a virtual nursing program. Using the Smart TV as the interface for tele-monitoring or tele-sitting can help close gaps in nurse staffing, reduce administrative tasks for bedside nurses, and give patients the support they need during their stay.

HL7, FHIR and other hospital and vendor-created APIs allow for a secure and free flow of information between systems. This allows relevant data to be used in strategic ways during the patient's care. For example, a patient may be prompted to evaluate their pain level 60 minutes after medication was administered.

Another example of integration maybe with the Real-Time Locating System (RTLS). When staff are equipped with RTLS badges, and the system is integrated with a solution such as Vibe Health’s patient experience platform, each visit from a member of the clinical team can be documented upon entry into the patient room, and automatically displayed on thein-room whiteboard. This type of integration serves as a communication tool between clinicians, patients and loved ones by providing clear and accurate information pertaining to visits from the clinical care team.


In a world that has gone digital, it is more important than ever to design and deploy technology that empowers both patients and the care team. The benefits are astonishing when it comes to driving more comfort for patients and efficient workflows for healthcare workers, which ultimately saves steps and allows clinicians to practice at the top of their license. The more hospitals can advance along this digital journey with modern standards and use of smart room technology, the better the system will be for patients and all who care for them.

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