Blog/ Focus: Technology

The benefits of patient entertainment systems

By Fiona Bayle / Special to Healthcare Facilities Today
May 28, 2019

Long gone are the days where hospital wards have a TV or radio in the corner as their only form of entertainment. Patient entertainment systems are a massive part of ensuring that hospital patients are receiving the best service possible. This blog will discuss the main benefits of patient entertainment systems and why they’re so important. 

What’s great about a modern patient entertainment system?

Modern patient entertainment systems are a great way of putting patients first. Not only this, but they can also help improve staff efficiency and productivity in various ways too. 

These are: 

• Entertaining patients and improving their hospital experience

• Allowing vital information to be easily accessed by both staff and patients

• Preventing ad-hoc patient requests from interrupting staff

• Allowing more opportunities for feedback to be heard and implemented

• Helping facilities manage their resources better

Entertaining patients and improving their hospital experience

Being in hospital can prove to be a pretty lonely experience for patients. As patients can’t go and see their loved ones or go about their everyday life as normal whilst admitted, it’s easy for them to feel like they’re cut off from the outside world. 

In addition, hospitals buildings tend to have poor phone signal and sometimes, complete dead zones all together. This can lead to little or no access to news or information outside the hospital. So, patients can often feel even more disconnected and isolated from the world.

That’s why hospital patient entertainment systems are so beneficial. They can provide hours of entertainment and engagement for patients, whilst also being extremely useful for staff too. They allow patients to access live TV, stream their favorite shows, play games and much more. 

Another bonus is that patients can do this all from their own devices if they wish. These systems often improve patient mood and overall experience, which should be some of the main focuses from health services at all times. 

Allowing vital information to be easily accessed by both staff and patients

Patients can often be left feeling confused or a little out of the loop after first being diagnosed. There are usually a lot of technicalities and unusual jargon used by doctors and nurses, so it’s easy to see why. Modern patient entertainment systems are the perfect platform to access all the information that patients might want to know. 

Whether it’s further information on their diagnosis or something as simple as checking into appointments, they’re a great way to keep patients in the loop. Educative content is available in the form of videos or links to hospital choices, where patients can learn more about their specific diagnosis and ways to help themselves. 

Plus, they’re a really useful tool to help with the demand of ad-hoc patient queries. It means that patients can find out what they want at their fingertips and won’t have to wait until a doctor or nurse is free to go and physically see them. 

On facility-owned devices, staff are able to login to a digital window to share information with patients about their records, at the patient's bedside. After they’re done, the staff can simply log off and the system will return to normal entertainment mode, with TV and streaming services available.

This instantaneous access will please patients, again helping to improve their overall experience in hospital. 

Preventing ad-hoc patient requests from interrupting staff 

Staff have to deal with patient requests on a daily basis. These requests can be for something as simple as an extra pillow or topping up their glass of water. Despite being menial, it still means healthcare staff have to go ‘off-task’ in order to find out the request and then complete it. This can disrupt productivity. 

Patient entertainment systems can have a service request feature integrated onto their platforms. Patients will then be able to request what they want without having to pull staff from a current job they’re carrying out for another patient. 

This also ensures that the productivity and efficiency of the other team members aren’t disrupted, so the hospital can continue delivering excellent healthcare and patient service.

Allowing more opportunities for feedback

In order to constantly improve their services, hospitals are always looking out for patient feedback. A lot of the time, patients don’t complete these surveys as they’re usually asked when being discharged and just want the process to be as quick as possible. Other times patients tend to forget or just choose to not fill out the forms. 

Patient entertainment systems can be a simple way to request and receive feedback. It’s clearly displayed on the platform portal and because it’s always accessible, it acts as a constant reminder. It’s also a lot more convenient and quicker to do it on their device, as opposed to a pen and paper form. 

Your patients’ feedback is invaluable and you want to make sure you receive it all, whether it’s positive or negative.

Helping facilities manage their resources better

Patient entertainment systems aren’t only in place for the sole benefit of bored hospital patients. They can actually help each facility manage and streamline various processes. For example, the system can be integrated with a meal-ordering function so patients can order meals at the touch of a button. 

This means that staff won’t have to waste their time walking the wards and passing out meal cards to each individual patient. Instead, the system can be linked to each patient and meals can be redirected to them automatically if they move beds or wards. 

Plus, patients have the freedom to browse the menu whenever they want and decide at their leisure.

In many cases, hospital food wastage is caused by unawareness of the dietary content in meals until they arrive at the patients’ beds. Or, meals have been delivered to the wrong beds due to a sudden or unreported move. Patient entertainment systems and their integrated meal ordering features can stop this from happening. 

Patient entertainment systems are a vital way of ensuring that a patient has a good experience whilst in hospital. Nobody wants to be admitted to hospital, so the facility needs to make sure that their experiences are as painless and smooth as possible. Plus, it’s well-known that if a patient is happier during their stay that recovery times will be shorter. 

Fiona Bayle is head of Healthcare at WiFi SPARK.

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