In a nutshell, this is the care of patients whose conditions require admission to a hospital. The greater good of inpatient care is to reduce the amount of time a patient spends here through receiving efficient care and treatment. There are various challenges hospitals face during the course of caring for people who have been admitted.
Safety and security of people and assets. In Kenya this is especially critical because of the high levels of insecurity in our health institutions. We have heard of babies being stolen/ swapped in hospitals, patients being murdered, theft of equipment/records, fire and peril, etc. People management therefore becomes key in any function of a hospital. One solution for this can be through the implementation of IoT, RTLS and nurse call systems to track movement of people and assets.
RTLS (Real-Time Location System) is a system used to automatically identify and track the location of people or objects in real time within a contained area. IoT (Internet of Things) is the network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators and connectivity which enables these things to connect, collect and exchange data. Active or passive labels are attached to a patient, caregiver and equipment and information relayed to a central server which then relays feedback to the practitioners/ nurses who can react accordingly. This can also be used in the case of infants. Tags are attached to infants and their mothers, this will trigger an alarm when mothers are separated by distance from their babies.
Nurse call systems were traditionally installed to enable a patient to call or interact with nurses or care givers. This intergrated with IoT technology can perform a variety of functions. For example when patients activate the call function, registered nurses can directly use a variety of mobile devices to answer and respond to patients’ needs. The advent of mobile phones will also enable to patient to seek the same level of care/ support from nurses through the use of mobile devices.
Long clipboards used in hospitals by nurses and doctors to read and record patient details are a thing of the past in advance healthcare institutions. Modern facilities use medical carts fitted with mobile devices instead. These carts can also be in the form of a mobile device such as tablet. This allows healthcare professionals to efficiently monitor, record, and retrieve patient information with a tablet/ smart mobile device. Carts provide better patient experience by encouraging prompter test results, more accurate patient information, electronic prescription administration, reduction in paper work, etc.
The recent past has seen several of our private and even public hospitals seek value addition to their service offering by opening executive hospital wings. The patients here pay the extra shilling to get a VIP inpatient experience. This gives the patients more privacy, luxury, entertainment and focused treatment. In order to get value for money for the top dollars patients here pay there is need to increase value. On way to do this is through having a state of the art Patient Entertainment system. Not only is this a luxury item, but it provides better comfort and health outcomes through enhanced patient-hospital engagement. Through integrating smart TVs with interactive patient engagement technology and Electronic medical Records, the system customizes the patient experience and puts key information where patients are most likely to see it- at screens they stare at most of their hospital stay.