Use of interactive technology boosts patient satisfaction

Hospitals within six different healthcare systems saw dramatic increases in their patient satisfaction rates when using interactive monitors that allow patients to communicate with staff and access information about their care, according new findings.

The interactive monitors helped boost patient satisfaction with educational materials by 42 percent and lifted overall satisfaction scores by least ten percent, including scores from the ubiquitous Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS), reports the Beryl Institute.

The hospitals provided patients with in-room monitors that allowed patients to ask clinicians questions about their care; inquire about food menus; request help with minor tasks; read about their medical condition and access their post-discharge instructions.

"The systems offered and information they provide move well beyond an 'on-demand' network to a true interactive experience that engages patients in their care and provide information that support them on their healing journey," the Beryl Institute reports.

"Rather than an amenity, interactive technology is emerging as a critical partner in the healthcare experience," the organization states.

One unexpected bonus: Clinicians saved time by using the system as a mini-triage for patient requests, researchers found. When requests came in, nurses could answer less-urgent queries electronically through the system, and then respond to more important questions in person.

The healthcare systems included El Paso (Texas) Children's Hospital; Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, N.J., and University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center in Cleveland, Ohio. 

For more information:
- read this statement from the researchers
- see how this "virtual discharge assistant" helps reduce readmissions
- read about how empathetic docs get better results

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