Screen Time: Hospital Tests Digital Boards
February 07, 2019
New tool saves time, effort over legacy white boards

FORT WORTH, Texas — To enhance the consumer experience, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Alliance is piloting a project to replace the whiteboards traditionally used in patient rooms with digital patient care boards that integrate with the Sonifi interactive TV platform.

“The digital board interfaces with CareConnect One,” said Brenda Taylor, regional director of Information Technology Services. “So it displays the care team, the physician, even the schedule of the day, with any tests or physical therapy appointments in general terms to protect the patient's privacy.”

The boards also show the patient’s reported pain level, preferred language and current diet, as well as the anticipated discharge date. 

Thus far, the new boards have saved nearly two hours a day in rounding time for nurses and six hours for patient care technicians.
“All this information is available in real time,” Taylor said. “As soon as the patient’s chart is updated in CareConnect, the care board will update as well.”

 

The information is displayed on a 40- to 43-inch monitor that is dimmed in the evenings to allow patients to sleep.

“When we built the new wing, we had already put the power and data lines in, so we were able to pilot the program here for less than it would cost at any of the other hospitals,” Taylor said.

Phase 2 of the pilot will add the real-time locating system (RTLS) to the equation, allowing patients and family members to see which caregivers have been in the room and when.

“An important piece of Texas Health's consumer strategy is to improve and personalize the patient experience” said Kathi Cox, senior vice president, Integrated Experience at Texas Health Resources. “These digital care boards provide our patients and their families with information that is specific to the patient in a simple, accessible format. Because they interface with CareConnect, the boards also save time for nurses and other caregivers, who won’t have to manually update the information. During the pilot, we will get our patients’ and their families’ feedback to assure that the solution meets their needs." 

The new boards have already produced results. They have been found to save about 49 minutes a day on whiteboard updating, as well as six hours on patient care technician (PCT) rounding and nearly two hours for nurse rounding. The boards cost the same as the traditional whiteboards, Cox said.

Still in the works: digital wayfinding signs to help visitors navigate the often-confusing hospital hallways.

About Texas Health Resources

Texas Health Resources is a faith-based, nonprofit health system that cares for more patients in North Texas than any other provider. With a service area that consists of 16 counties and more than 7 million people, the system is committed to providing quality, coordinated care through its Texas Health Physicians Group and 27 hospital locations under the banners of Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, Texas Health Harris Methodist and Texas Health Huguley. Texas Health access points and services, ranging from acute care hospitals and trauma centers to outpatient facilities and home health and preventive services, provide the full continuum of care for all stages of life. The system has more than 4,000 licensed hospital beds, 6,200 physicians with active staff privileges and more than 23,000 employees. For more information about Texas Health, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit www.TexasHealth.org.