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Electronic Whiteboards Enhance Patient Experience at Medical Center

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Today’s hospital patient wants to be informed about his or her care – often and immediately.  The electronic whiteboards now being used at Greene County Medical Center in rural Jefferson, Iowa, make that happen.

Greene County Medical Center is the first medical facility in the state of Iowa to use integrated electronic whiteboards – an initiative that is sure to be a standard product in medical facilities in the future.

Innovatient Solutions, Inc., the Connecticut-based company behind the product, has revolutionized how information can be provided to the patient by the simple use of a remote control, or “pillow speaker” as the remote is called.  The pillow speaker allows the patient, or a family member, to be just a click away from provider photos, care instructions, special diet specifics, upcoming appointments or the discharge checklist.

Replacing the standard dry erase whiteboard, information on the electronic whiteboard is automatically uploaded from the medical center’s EPIC (electronic medical record) system at time of patient admission.  Information such as special dietary needs or scheduled therapies is entered by nursing staff throughout the patient’s stay.

The electronic whiteboard not only offers valuable information to the patient, it allows the nursing staff to be more efficient in patient care.  Education videos, appointment updates and other available menu options allow the nursing staff to focus on medications, pain management and immediate life-saving care needs.

While implementation of the whiteboard has many phases, the medical center has been focusing on Phase 1, which includes the “who, what, when and how” of a patient’s stay.

Upon admittance, the patient watches a welcome message from CEO Carl Behne and sees a welcome page with basic information like their room and phone number.  This initial page also includes provider, aide and nurse information, all being identified by name and a photo when the patient clicks on the provider’s name.

A daily schedule of treatments, like physical therapy, is entered by the department providing the service.  Goals for the day and the stay are also included.  During their stay, education videos are available on a variety of care subjects.  One video created in-house has Jenny Taylor, RN and director of clinics, talking about knee and hip surgery recovery expectations.  Upon discharge, the patient is shown a thank you message from CNE Katie Heldt.

The electronic whiteboard literally transforms a television into a health care tool, coordinating care while still being able to entertain patients and their family members.  The whiteboard also serves as the television, so channel display and selection is available when the whiteboard is minimized.  The patient has the option of displaying the whiteboard, the television, or splitting the screen to see both simultaneously.  The board can also show a visually relaxing photo, like the ocean/beach, and play a soundtrack of relaxation sounds,

Greene County Medical Center is committed to providing the best care possible for our patients – the new electronic whiteboards are just one way this is possible.