Brand-new babies aside, most hospital stays aren’t pleasant experiences. We’re hurt, we’re sick, we’re often alone, and when we’re not frightened, we’re bored. Activity swirls around us that we may not entirely understand, and busy doctors and nurses don’t always have the time to explain everything that’s happening. What do we really want, apart from being well enough to go home? We want comfort, familiarity, information, and distraction.
As Executive Director of i3 Solutions Inc, I’ve been working with the healthcare industry for many years, developing solutions for various needs. In discussions with clinical staff and patients, I realized that the offerings for bedside entertainment were lacking. Television sets were bolted to the walls and often needed a manual set-up to activate, but because the equipment was owned by a third party, patients sometimes had to wait days for service – if it came at all. In addition, the sets weren’t up to modern hygienic standards, making them potentially dangerous to vulnerable patients. At home, patients had Internet, television, books, movies, communication – all at their fingertips. But they had none of these familiar comforts at the hospital, where they needed them most! I knew my team could improve the situation and help make patients’ stays a little easier.
Conversations with staff and patients uncovered even more opportunities for improvement: patients wanted control of their entertainment, but perhaps even more, they wanted contact with family and friends, they wanted information about their conditions and treatments, and they wanted to be able to communicate with healthcare professionals. Doctors wanted medical records at the bedside where they could involve patients in discussions about their care. From these conversations came a truly 21st Century solution: Panacea.
Panacea is a state-of-the-art patient bedside entertainment and education system, delivered as a hosted service and accessed through clinical-grade hardware devices and is a Microsoft Windows 8 based software. Patient-centric, intuitive, and exceptionally user-friendly, Panacea allows patients to surf the Web, watch shows, play games, communicate with family, friends, and doctors, even order meals. The app also can improve patient outcomes by providing education and guidance. Patients are able to call up information to help them understand post-discharge procedures, for example. And because the app is web-based, if patients move, their information moves with them – they simply log in from their new location. Because they have entertainment, communication, and education at their fingertips, patients stay in their rooms, lowering their risk of infection and reducing staff workloads. Doctors, on the other hand, can call up x-rays and other patient data right at the bedside where immediate patient input can lead to more informed decisions.
Panacea also benefits hospitals’ bottom lines: because some of the entertainment available is for-pay, our app generates service fees. Local providers such as restaurants and pharmacies have advertising opportunities on Panacea, creating another revenue stream for hospitals. And the tools available on Panacea for clinical staff can save time and reduce errors, lowering hospital costs.
Panacea is all about putting patients’ care front and centre. Studies* show that patients who feel they have some control over their environment and treatment tend to have better outcomes. When we’re able to communicate with our loved ones and with those involved in our care, we do better. When we’re happy and relaxed, we heal faster and are less likely to request pain medication. We’re 30% less likely to need re-admission. We also put less burden on healthcare staff, freeing up their time to consult with patients.
If we can make a patient’s experience a little easier, more comfortable, and safer, then my team and I want to do that. Panacea has so many advantages to offer both staff and patients, and we’re excited to bring it to more hospitals and more patients.
*Childs, W., “William Beaumont Hospital and its New Generation System,” U.S. Healthcare, pp 20-22