Hospital Bedside Devices Simplify the Patient Experience

By David Fetterolf, Stratus Video President

By simplifying the patient experience, healthcare providers can focus more on their main role as healthcare providers – to effectively treat patients. Bedside devices have been shown to help do just that – greatly boosting patient satisfaction with care in the hospital as well as significantly increasing patient engagement with care plans.

The importance of good communication in healthcare is paramount. Analysis by Denver Health Medical Center of nearly 500 communication events demonstrates effective patient-provider communication yields:

  • Decreased time to treatment

  • Increased nurse satisfaction with communication

  • And higher rates of resolution of patient issues.

Serving as a mode of communication, bedside devices provide patients with a secure, convenient way to instantly connect with their providers and care teams.

They also serve as an essential educational tool, providing patients with vital information regarding their health condition(s) and/or procedure(s) in an easy-to-use format. When patients are well informed about their conditions and procedures, they tend to be more engaged in the development of care plans. Better engagement yields better adherence with care plans and less chance of readmission within 30 days of hospital discharge. By having a bedside device loaded with relative educational information, providers can reinforce important information to the patient like medication management , symptoms to watch for and more.

In addition, when patients are in control of certain elements of their stay, they tend to be more satisfied with their overall patient experience. Bedside devices provide the patient a convenient way to order food and refreshments, adjust the room temperature and access a variety of entertainment all from the same handheld device. By enabling the patient to carry out these activities without the assistance of medical staff, it not only empowers the patient but also relieves the healthcare staff of having to shift focus from treating the patient to complete non healthcare related tasks.

Imagine the difference in patient experience prior to the installation of easy-to-use patient engagement technology. A patient is ready to order dinner but requires the nurse’s assistance to place the order. The nurse is unavailable to take the patient’s order for nearly thirty minutes. This simple inconvenience greatly impacts the patient’s satisfaction with his stay, resulting in a negative patient survey result and public hospital review. Now fast forward to the modern patient experience. With a bedside device in hand, the patient can simply launch the restaurant application and choose from a variety of delivery options.

When it comes to treating a patient who does not speak English or who is limited English proficient (LEP), the process of acquiring language services is also simplified with the use of a bedside device. Thanks to VRI app interoperabilities, providers can now access a qualified medical interpreter directly from patient engagement tech, eliminating the need to locate a VRI stand or other equipment. Utilizing a bedside device, they can simply launch the language services application, select the language needed and wait for an interpreter to appear.

With communication being a cornerstone of patient care, it is essential for providers to be able to effectively communicate with all patients regardless of cultural background or language preference. By having quick access to a wide variety of languages, healthcare providers can ensure non-English speaking patients have meaningful access to healthcare information, enabling them to more effectively engage in care plans.

Aside from the positive impact that the use of a qualified medical interpreter has on LEP patient outcome, it is required by several federal regulations including Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act. If hospitals do not comply with regulations surrounding language access in care, they can be stripped of financial reimbursement. By investing in patient engagement technology and language services upfront, hospitals and health systems both improve patient care and reduce the likelihood of readmissions.

The Stratus Video application currently provides access to medically qualified interpreters in 35 languages over HIPAA compliant video and over 200 languages over audio and can now be accessed directly from patient bedside devices. SONIFI Health is a patient engagement technology provider that we recently partnered with to simplify care for LEP patients. Learn more about the benefits our partnership offers patients and providers here.      

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