With the help of smart rooms, hospitals hope to transform the patient experience by providing modern devices to make the patient’s stay much more comfortable than in a traditional space. While many aspects contribute to a fully integrated smart hospital room, the primary goal is to provide a more personal experience through implementing various technologies like patient infotainment

Smart hospital rooms can decrease staff burden while helping reduce patient worry, pain, and anxiety. Patients in a hospital smart room have much greater control over their environment without staff assistance. Something as simple as replacing a whiteboard with a medical grade monitor can make a significant difference. 

Voice Control

There are a host of benefits to adding voice assistants to patient rooms. 

These units can be as simple as an Amazon Echo using the Alexa voice command program. As many patients have them at home, a familiar voice assistant can be a welcomed distraction, allowing them to play music, catch up on the news, or play a game. Some patients also may feel more comfortable making requests via a voice assistant device than in person. 

Patients can get even more significant advantages from the presence of voice control. The environment can be adjusted in various ways without someone needing to get out of bed or call a nurse. Lights can be turned off, temperature lowered or raised, window coverings drawn, and TV power, volume, or channels changed. If a patient has limited mobility, this significantly improves their quality of stay without the need for a nurse to help with these simple tasks. 

Another benefit is that of clinical workflow improvements for staff. For example, voice commands can easily play content for newly admitted patients, educational content, or request help quickly. 

Smart Hospital Beds

Hospital beds have been improved by technological advancements in embedded control functions and interactivity that have recently been introduced. Smart hospital beds can now use wireless sensors connected to pressure redistribution functions in the mattress to keep patients from getting bed sores. The mattress can simply adjust to be harder or softer in different areas to reduce the likelihood of a patient becoming uncomfortable or developing sores. 

Other simpler additions found in smart beds compared to a conventional hospital bed are the addition of USB ports to safely charge devices and storage compartments to ensure phones or even a medical tablet can be stored nearby. 

Digital Whiteboard

Whiteboards have long been used in patient rooms to display relevant but often changed information relating to the patient or staff. 

The latest improvement has come in the form of a digital whiteboard screen displaying information clearly with interactive functions, so the need for markers or replacing whiteboards every few years is gone. 

Digital whiteboards allow staff to display pertinent information and updates to communicate effectively. They can reduce the risk of medical errors by visually displaying patient medication schedules, discharge information, and pain scores. 

Patients can also quickly reference staff names to address any questions or concerns promptly. Ultimately, digital whiteboards can increase patient communication, engagement, and Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Provider Scores, a national survey of patients’ perspectives of hospital care.

Connected App

Hospital room apps that patients can use from their smartphone or tablet have been shown to ease their worries and help already burdened staff. 

Patients can look at their digital health chart, which includes information from their electronic health record, to get updates on the status of tests and their care. This is just one example of a task that is no longer just in the hands of nurses, thanks to the introduction of new technologies. 

Many hospital apps also allow patients to see aftercare and discharge instructions, play entertainment content, or even order food. The features, in this sense, are similar to what you would find on an airplane, but the greater level of amenities keeps patients at ease, and it can all be done without the direct help of a staff member. 

Though some of the benefits may seem superficial, these simple things can add up and take the burden off of the nurses while making the patient’s stay significantly more comfortable.

Closing Thoughts

Smart hospital rooms have come a long way in the past 5 – 10 years by utilizing consumer electronics in new ways and implementing technologies into more typical hospital equipment. Through these advancements, hospital stays are becoming more comfortable for patients with greater control over their environment while also taking the burden off staff members. 

Contact an expert at Cybernet to learn more about how their products, like medical carts, medical-grade computers, tablets, and monitors, can make a hospital room smart, improving the quality of stay for patients and general staff workflow. With various customizable solutions and the knowledge to guide you in the right direction, you will be directed to an ideal solution. 

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