Hospital Introduces Interactive Technology for Asthma Care

August 28, 2009

When children are admitted to Golisano Children’s Hospital, they and their parents often have a lot of health-related questions. The GetWellNetwork® PatientLife System®, an interactive bedside patient education and entertainment system, available for families in the pediatric hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center, provides parents with 24/7 access to information about their child’s condition. A new informational package on asthma has recently been added to the GetWellNetwork system, which evolved from Katelyn’s Connection, allows patients admitted to the hospital for asthma-related issues to learn more about their condition and how to prevent future flare-ups.

“This addition to the GetWellNetwork system is huge since 10 percent of admissions to the hospital are asthma-related,” said Elizabeth Lattimore, administrative director for clinical services at Golisano Children’s Hospital. “We want to streamline nursing efficiency and increase patient satisfaction with this system. We also want to provide patients and caregivers with relevant disease-specific health information throughout their stay and follow-up instructions to help them manage their disease after discharge and avoid further admissions.”

Physicians and nurses are taking steps to make sure patients know about this readily available, individualized health information. Michael S. Leonard, M.D., chief quality and safety officer for children’s services and pediatric hospitalist at Golisano Children’s Hospital, is helping to familiarize physicians with the system so they can order educational videos, just as they order x-rays, labs and medications.

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Physicians prescribe a set of videos to asthmatic patients and nurses complete the order by sending videos directly to the patient’s bedside, according to Jan Schriefer, M.B.A., Dr. P.H., assistant professor at Golisano Children’s Hospital. The prescribed videos can answer general questions like “What is Asthma?” and detail more specific issues like possible triggers for asthma and how to self-monitor asthma care treatment. The asthma suite, created by KidsHealth, also offers testimonials from children and teens living with asthma and parents whose children have asthma. Nurses have received training in how to start follow-up conversations after families watch the condition-specific videos. Patients and caregivers can view the videos as many times as they need to throughout their stay, formulate questions for their care team and also access information about a patient’s own prescribed medications.

“The information in these videos helps get families and nurses on the same page when they talk because families have learned important background information,” said Terri J. Scharfe-Pretino, senior clinical nurse specialist at Golisano Children’s Hospital.

Patients and families have immediate access to reliable information, which helps ease feelings of anxiety. The system also offers an alternate way for patients to learn about their condition in a way that is easy for kids and adolescents to understand. Trying to absorb all the information nurses and doctors offer when they speak with patients and their parents can also be overwhelming, so the system offers a way for parents to revisit important information regarding their child’s health condition. Prescribed videos on the system vary based on what condition patients are being treated for and range from basic hand hygiene to information about tracheotomies.

The asthma suite is just one part of an entire “edutainment” system, which is currently available to 88 patient beds at Golisano Children’s Hospital. Patients can communicate with the outside world with the GetWellNetwork system by using a wireless keyboard to access emails and Web sites on the television screen monitors in their hospital rooms. The system also provides 60 current on-demand movies, which are updated quarterly. For more information about the GetWellNetwork system at Golisano Children’s Hospital, visit http://www.stronghealth.com/services/childrens/getwell_network.cfm.

About Golisano Children’s Hospital

Golisano Children's Hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center is the region's only children's hospital, providing care for thousands of children in Rochester and the surrounding 17-county Finger Lakes region. Located within Strong Memorial Hospital, Golisano Children's Hospital is a division of the University of Rochester Medical Center.

The 124-bed hospital offers a vast array of state-of-the-art technology and world-class treatment in its specialty areas, including the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), the Adolescent Unit, the Children's Unit; the Children's Heart Center; and in the Pediatric Ambulatory Unit.

About GetWellNetwork, Inc.

GetWellNetwork, Inc. is a leading provider of Interactive Patient Care (IPC) solutions. IPC solutions are patient-centric applications delivered at the point-of-care to ensure the completion of service and quality requirements, while driving new revenue opportunities and operational efficiencies for healthcare providers. Currently operating live at more than 10,000 hospital beds around the country, GetWellNetwork® PatientLife System® empowers patients as active participants in the healthcare process. GetWellNetwork has partnered with Nemours’ KidsHealth to co-develop a comprehensive suite of pediatric patient education video content specifically designed for parents, kids and teens. The KidsHealth patient education videos will be exclusively accessible at the patient bedside through the PatientLife System. GetWellNetwork and its clients have been widely acknowledged for their IPC innovations by the healthcare community. In 2007, the GetWellNetwork solution received the exclusive endorsement of the American Hospital Association (AHA). GetWellNetwork, Inc. headquarters are in Bethesda, Maryland. For more information, please call 877.MEET.GWN or visit www.getwellnetwork.com.

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