Hospitals and medical facilities are no one’s first choice for a place to spend much time. Patients are often stressed, uncomfortable, lonely, or bored. After a couple of years of unprecedented stresses and changes in the healthcare space, there is a growing need for more patient-centered care and an emphasis on improving the patient experience.
In a recent study from Silverline CRM, 65% of patients say good communication and continuous engagement matter the most to their experience. Additionally, the study found that 39% of patients say that a good digital experience has a major impact on their likelihood of staying with a certain provider.
Anything you can do to ease uncomfortable feelings and improve patient engagement can make a huge difference in your patients’ experiences. This is why mobile patient entertainment systems are growing in popularity. In this post, we will cover what patient entertainment systems are, why they are important, and how to implement them in the best way.
Patient Entertainment Systems: What Are They?
The way humans entertain themselves has evolved far beyond a simple television set or radio. Healthcare facilities should also evolve their equipment to stay up to date with these changes. Bedside entertainment in hospitals offers patients the ability to play video games, watch entertainment, and access important hospital and/or care information from a mobile cart station.
Why Offer Bedside Entertainment?
When patients enter the hospital, they should not be forced to give up all of the comforts they have at home, including entertainment. In fact, patients’ expectations have risen when it comes to hospital entertainment. They want an entertainment package that includes high-quality television broadcasting, movies, games, puzzles, and brain teasers.
Especially for child or adolescent patients, bedside entertainment offers many benefits.
Improved Patient Experience
In an increasingly competitive healthcare marketplace, patient satisfaction is more important than ever. Just as customers now expect more from a hotel room stay than just access to cable television, they also expect enhanced entertainment options in medical facilities. Offering bedside entertainment will enhance the overall experience your patients have in your facility in a few different ways:
- Ease the feeling of seclusion. It is easy for patients to feel secluded from the outside world while stuck in a hospital room. Offering bedside entertainment and the ability to easily connect with friends and family members can bring back that connection which in turn can significantly help patients' mental health throughout their stay.
- Improve the quality of entertainment. Hospitals often have poor cell phone service, leading to an even greater feeling of disconnection from the outside world. Patient entertainment systems can provide hours of entertainment by offering live TV, streaming, games, and more.
- Allow better communication. According to a survey conducted by the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS), communication with clinicians, responsiveness of hospital staff, and communication about medicines are a few of the key factors to analyze when trying to improve patients' experience. Bedside entertainment carts can be used to request information and care and look at treatment plans. This will make it easier and faster for patients to find this important information, which will make them feel more in the loop with their care plan.
Distraction From Discomfort
No matter the severity of the medical issue at hand, some level of discomfort always comes along with a hospital stay. Providing any distraction from this for your patients will improve their overall experience. Games, shows, movies, and other engrossing content can all help patients keep their minds off discomfort.
Not only does access to games and entertainment distract patients, but it can also actually be beneficial for their mental health and brain function. For example, crossword puzzles or other word games are good for the brain function of adolescent and adult patients alike. Bedside systems can also help patients be more comfortable at night, as they can reduce ambient noise or provide music therapy. Bedside systems can be particularly beneficial for long-term patients who are unable to leave their beds. Offering a variety of bedside entertainment options like virtual visits and virtual therapy and exercise will help your bedridden patients feel more comfortable overall.
Access to Educational Content
It is no secret that medical diagnosis can be overwhelming. It can be difficult for patients to digest all the information being thrown their way. Having access to important information about their condition, status, medications, and treatment plans right at their fingertips can give patients more agency and less anxiety.
Handing the patient a brochure or pamphlet is one way to try and relay this important educational content, but in today’s multimedia world, it makes the most sense to deliver this content in ways that patients are used to digesting information in their everyday lives — through a screen.
Patients can also search for food menus or find answers to common questions on their own from their bedside, freeing up the valuable time and resources of hospital staff. Patients can also request and receive feedback from easily.
Setting Up a Patient Entertainment System
Although in-room televisions offer patient information and entertainment, the trend in healthcare is providing a more mobile solution. Meghan Seus, vice president of product marketing at SONIFI Health, says, “Our clients are making our patient engagement applications available via several devices so patients and families can access education, entertainment, and concierge-like services on their own terms and on the device type they prefer. This includes the in-room TV, bedside tablets, and patient-owned mobile devices.”
So, when thinking about revamping your healthcare facility's entertainment platform, consider going mobile. Here are some steps to take during the setup and implementation phases of mobile patient entertainment systems.
Source the Appropriate Technology
Anytime you are integrating a new solution into your facility, it is key to ensure the technology is reputable and reliable. This is why it is always a good idea to trust experts in the field. Tryten has decades of experience designing customer medical cart solutions and OEM services.
When it comes to gaming, patients or medical facilities can attach their own gaming consoles to the mobile entertainment system. The technology within patient entertainment systems can also be a great way to gather real-time data. Data is a valuable resource for both healthcare providers and patients. With entertainment systems, hospitals can track every time a nurse prescribes a relaxation or educational video as well as patient requests, survey responses, and overall response time within the hospital.
Let’s explore the possibilities together.
Tryten is ready and willing to help with your project, big or small, and our wide variety of platforms can support your medical & technology devices, telehealth expansion, or overhauls and more. Let us use our guidance to support you today.
Choose Your Cable Provider
Although the goal with patient entertainment systems is to provide entertainment far beyond traditional cable TV, you still want to offer that to your patients so live TV is always an option. Decide what cable provider will work best for your facility and select a plan that makes sense.
With the combination of live TV with popular streaming apps like Hulu and Netflix, your entertainment system is likely to offer something to appeal to every patient.
Keep Space in Mind
When setting up a patient entertainment system, it is important to remember to keep its footprint small. There is no need for additional bulky equipment that could hinder the performance of the hospital staff or get in the patient’s way. You want these systems to be easily maneuverable, durable, and lightweight.
Educate Care Staff and Patients on How To Use It
Your new entertainment system is no good if both your staff and patients do not understand how to use it. Start by educating your care staff on the benefits and uses of your entertainment system. That way, they can relay that information seamlessly to patients.
See Higher Patient Satisfaction Scores With Entertainment Carts
Patient satisfaction should be the top concern for all hospitals and medical facilities. After a few challenging years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become more difficult to meet demand and customer expectations. Hospital staff needs all the help they can get to meet patient needs and exceed expectations.
In short, offering patient entertainment carts eases several pain points for both your patients and hospital staff.
Patient entertainment systems can:
- Offer hours of easily accessible entertainment and distractions
- Improve mental health by providing a connection to the outside world
- Prevent patient requests from interrupting hospital staff tasks
- Allow more opportunities for feedback
- Make it easier for patients to see and understand treatment and/or medication plans
- Be a resource for educational content
With patient and customer expectations rising, make sure that your facility is up to date, offering the most comprehensive entertainment options possible. Tryten is here to help. With its mobile gaming carts, Tryten can help you offer your patients entertainment on a durable mobile cart with a low ownership cost and small footprint. Learn more and get started with Tryten here.