White boards covered with important patient care information will be a thing of the past at the Pavilion — the new HUP building opening this fall — thanks to a new integrated technology. This new digital version will not only help staff provide better care for patients but improve the patient experience as well.
According to Sean Sarles, MSN, associate director of Clinical Technology and Systems, this patient room technology is based, in part, on a similar integration system developed at Penn Medicine Chester Country Hospital. “We took their iteration and, thanks to the work of the Application Development team in Corporate IS, we developed it further,” he said. “Rather than going to a vendor and buying a product, we built this from the ground up.
“This technology is unique to Penn; it’s unique to the world.”
Door Display for Clinician Information
To keep both staff and patients safe, critical patient information — for example, the patient has a latex allergy, is a fall risk, or requires special contact precautions — must be communicated before members of the care team enter the room. Generally, this information is displayed on laminated cards on the hallway-facing windows of patient rooms. In the Pavilion, the Outside Door Display (ODD), a small screen on the outside of each patient’s room, will show this information via icon alerts. “The display automatically populates with icons based on real-time information it pulls from Penn Chart,” Sarles said. And many icons have drop down screens, which provide additional information about a specific icon.
Each of the display’s icons will have “individual real estate,” meaning they always appear in the same location. In this way, staff members will know at a glance which alerts apply to each patient. There’s also a sunset photo on the screen for an end-of-life patient.
In addition, a dome light (part of the HillRom Nurse Call System) located outside and above the patient’s door will illuminate for each member of the care team who is in a patient’s room. Their role can be easily identified from down the hall based on the color of the dome light, e.g., blue for a nurse, pink for a CNA, white for a physician, and so on. “In the new space in the Pavilion where everything is so spread out, the tools from the Nurse Call system will help make it easy to find the other members of the care team,” Sarles said. Let’s say, for example, a nurse needs to find a CNA to help turn a patient. “Rather than walking around the unit looking in every room for the CNA, the nurse could see at a glance that the CNA is helping a patient in another room.”
Careboards: Need-to-Know Information for Patients
Each patient room will include a 75-inch screen on the wall opposite the bed. The Careboard, located on the right half of the screen, will focus on the information most important to patients. This includes names, photos and the roles of each member of their care team as well as the day’s upcoming events (e.g., an x-ray) and consults, which will automatically populate from PennChart. Other sections will include “Goals/Plan for the Day” and “Communications” (messages from the care team such as “Good job today!”). The screen also provides an “expected discharge” date. Not surprisingly, “that’s what most patients want to know,” Sarles said. “Goals usually focus on what patients need to do to be discharged.”
The left side of the screen will offer access to TV programming and also provides live updates about hospital personnel based on tracking in their badges. The name, title, and photo of each staff member will appear as they come into a patient’s room. Many members of a patient’s care team come and go during the day, Sarles said, with “most in scrubs! This will help the patient and family immediately identify them.”
Another part of the integrated technology is MyChart Bedside, an iPad app available to inpatients that will help them stay better engaged with their care providers as well as pillow speaker controls. Both the iPad and pillow controls allow patients to activate room controls (such as closing shades, activating the nurse call bell, controlling the temperature, and dimming lights) and control the screen, e.g., make it go dark if they want to sleep. “Patients can also expand the TV to the entire screen [not just left side] or turn off the TV entirely.”
Another integrated component — Caregility — provides a two-way video connection to Penn E-lert, Penn Medicine’s expert clinical support for ICU patients that is staffed by a remote team as an additional layer to on-site clinicians. Staff and patients will be able hear and see the E-lert clinician on the screen versus just hearing a voice from a speaker.
Sarles said the team worked with HUP’s Patient and Family Advisory Council in developing content and in helping to decide the locations of information on the screen. “If you ask nurses what patients want, it’s very different from what patients say they want,” Sarles said. “We worked with a clinical group but PFAC was integral.”