With the exterior complete, interiors built out, and furniture, equipment and art being installed, attention is now turning to the patient experience inside the new Stanford Hospital, which opens to patients in November 2019. Multiple teams throughout the hospital are devoted to creating a patient experience that matches the majestic façade of the beautifully designed new structure, said Alpa Vyas, Vice President of Patient Experience for Stanford Health Care. “The service and the culture we create inside must complement and enhance the physical environment.”
From the moment a patient or family member comes through the doors of the new Stanford Hospital, they will be shepherded through their health care journey, both by a compassionate team of care givers and staff, and new digital tools developed specifically for the new space. Teams at Stanford are designing a patient experience that will leverage the smartphone technology that people already use in their daily lives to guide them through their inpatient visit.
Stanford’s MyHealth app will act as the digital companion for patients at the new Stanford Hospital, said Aditya Bhasin, Vice President of Software for Stanford Health Care. Patients can check-in using MyHealth and speed up the admitting process before their scheduled surgery or inpatient stay. The app will also automatically send them prompts for appointment times and step-by-step directions to locations within the new hospital. For example, patients can be guided from the parking garage to the laboratory to the infusion treatment area and back again.
“Navigating a large medical campus can be confusing,” said Vyas, especially for patients who are already consumed by anxiety or worry about their health or the health of a loved one. The way-finding capability within MyHealth is one way of quelling that stress and improving the experience, she said.
“We are trying to create a frictionless experience for our patients with MyHealth,” said Bhasin. There are currently over 500,000 patients using MyHealth for their outpatient care at Stanford Health Care. The software team is adding new capabilities to the app for inpatients at Stanford Hospital.
One new capability will be health education content that automatically populates a patient’s MyHealth account before, during and after the hospital stay. “We want the technology to be a digital companion for our patients, helping them transition from the outpatient clinic to the inpatient setting and back home once they’re discharged,” said Bhasin. “We are building location and contextual awareness capabilities in our digital platform. As a result, we will know where patients are in their journey, and provide them with relevant information throughout their continuum of care.”
The Patient Room
Every room in the new Stanford Hospital is private and equipped with a 55-inch television screen, an iPad and a pillow remote. Using an intuitive keypad, patients can select movies, on demand TV, music, relaxation videos, white noise, spiritual content and patient education information, or stream personal content using a screencast feature built into the system.
“The Sonifi system was initially developed for the hospitality industry, so the user interface is extremely intuitive and easy to navigate,” said Briana Lawson, Project Manager for the Interactive Patient Experience. “Patients will be able to have an entertainment experience that’s closer to what they have at home.”
Additional family space has been designed into the patient room, with plug-ins for electronic devices and storage for personal belongings. Patients will also be able to control the temperature of their room, lighting and window blinds, all without getting out of bed.
“We understand that people feel very vulnerable as patients in a hospital bed,” said Vyas. “When designing the patient rooms, we looked at some of the small things we can put back into the hands of our patients to give them a sense of control over their environment.”
Every patient at Stanford Hospital is cared for by a team of doctors, nurses, therapists, case workers and support staff that must work together to coordinate services and manage a patient’s return to health. Improving caregivers’ ability to communicate and collaborate easily, and in a way that protects patient privacy, was a priority, especially as they move into the larger space of the new hospital, said Vyas.
Stanford has implemented a secure messaging platform called Voalte, which allows care teams to communicate about a patient’s personal health information in a protected environment, said Troy Foster, Senior Manager, Network Infrastructure. “It provides seamless communication between all members of a treatment team via phone call or text,” he said, and it eliminates a lot of searching for a member of the team when a question arises. The system runs on iPhones, and is being used by more than 3,500 physicians and 2,000 nursing and ancillary staff. On an average day, 30,000 text messages and 6,000 calls are transmitted using Voalte.
“It’s a faster way for care teams to collaborate on patient care,” said Ann-Marie Yap, Executive Director of Technology. “It really increases our efficiency.”
“From a patient experience perspective, we are looking at how technology can help automate processes so team members have more time to focus on patient care,” said Vyas. Many of the new capabilities being developed for the new Stanford Hospital are being tested and refined in the existing hospital. “We want to get people comfortable with using all the new technology before we move into the new space so they can be ready to care for our patients.”