Digital Transformation: Reimagining the Hospital Experience

No Shortage of Screen Time

  • A computer with a barcode reader attached used by most visitors to my room to view or add information to my electronic health record (EHR)
  • The requisite broadcast/cable TV in the corner controlled by the wired combination nurse call/remote control that constantly got lost in the bed
  • The IV infusion pump
  • The EKG, blood oxygen, and blood pressure monitor
  • My cell phone’s six-inch screen with paired earbuds
  • My Care Board (a whiteboard hanging on the wall with my information on it)

Why?

  • Why am I sitting in a room with six screens and using the smallest one most of the time?
  • Why is it easier to get food delivered to my home than to my hospital room?
  • Why is it so hard to find outlets to charge things?
  • Why are there three ways to reach my CNA, and which one am I supposed to use?
  • Why do I have to hit a nurse call button and talk to someone at the nurse’s desk just to get a cup of water and then wait to see if they show up?
  • Why does my identity need to be confirmed by handheld barcode scanning multiple times a day with every new provider?
  • Why do alarms sounding in my room not get the attention of someone to address the problem? And why are false alarms so common?
  • Why is the information on my whiteboard often missing, incomplete, or wrong?
  • Why does the average hotel room costing $100–$200 per night have a better user experience than a hospital room that costs thousands of dollars a day?
  • And, of course, the most important question: why is hospital food so bad?

Just Imagine If…

  • Once plugged into my bed, my cell phone automatically charged and connected to Wi-Fi. It served as the hub for everything in the room related to my comfort and convenience, as it does with every rental car that supports Apple CarPlay.
  • The instruments that collect vitals automatically updated my health record.
  • When conditions triggered an alarm, no sounds occurred in the room. Instead, it automatically notified relevant staff.
  • The TV mounted in the corner was a smart device. I could see my digital care board, cast movies or shows from my phone, or even peruse a menu of diet-safe food options and place an order.
  • The digital care board had the same contact information but was also interactive. I could contact the current CNA or message the on-call doctor with questions about my care.
  • My digital care board always displayed my next care activity. It also included my next scheduled medication and current prescribed dosage.
  • Whenever someone enters the room, an RFID chip in their badge identifies them and keeps a running record of what happened throughout the day.
  • I used voice-activated devices to turn lights on and off, let people know I was sleeping, or even call the CNA. I could tell them what I needed using voice-to-text to translate it into a text message delivered to their device.

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