How digital experiences are changing healthcare

How digital patient education systems are creating a modern healthcare experience 


We are entering a new era of modern healthcare. With high-tech education systems, patients can now take control of their own health care and free up doctors and nurses to focus on higher priority tasks. 

According to a paper from The Beryl Institute, which works to elevate the human experience in healthcare, hospitals that use interactive technology to communicate with patients increased their patient satisfaction scores by about 10%. Further than that, patient satisfaction with hospital educational materials and courses increased by 42%.

So let’s explore a little more into what new digital education systems can do in hospitals and the benefits they have for both healthcare professionals and patients themselves.

Telehealth is impacting the digital experience 

Instead of healthcare professionals having to provide patients with information leaflets and resources, patients can now simply turn to their online education system. Even from the hospital bed, patients can learn more about their own circumstances from their personal devices.

Whether it’s information about their diagnosis, treatment or medication, patients can take the time to teach themselves, to make sure they fully understand what’s going on and why. This saves healthcare staff time and makes patients feel more comfortable and in control.

TeleHealth Services is the leading provider of interactive patient experience solutions in the U.S. and with over 250 titles, in multiple languages, they offer the most comprehensive education package in the healthcare industry. Partnering with the most respected content producers, they cater for a broad range of categories and conditions. This quality educational content, delivered in plain language video format, helps hospitals provide consistent, quality information to educate patients and family — and it’s also a useful tool for clinical staff to refer to. 

Credit: Anna Shvets || Pexels

Video is opening up new efficiencies 

We all know going into hospital can be overwhelming. Patients are often assessed by various doctors and nurses who run several tests and explain different things. Patients can quickly begin to feel confused and like they can’t keep up.

A digital education system can be an effective way of keeping patients informed and feeling calm. Almost like an insight into the clinician’s notes, patients can read articles or watch videos that help explain, whatever it was, that left them feeling uneasy. 

These systems can also help patients feel connected to the outside world. With home screens that display the time, date and weather, patients can connect with life outside of the ward and these simple, everyday details help to reduce confusion and improve a patient's overall experience.

SONIFI Health is an interactive technology platform proven to improve patient experience, health outcomes and hospital productivity. One of the features that clinical staff are most excited about is the education video service.

The system can be customised according to the patient's needs. For example, heart patients may have a menu of videos that are completely different from those available to new mothers. The system can also be tailored so that children in paediatrics will have a more child-friendly interface compared to the adult version.

All of these elements work together to help make patients knowledgeable – it also means healthcare professionals can keep an eye on their patient’s studies and check if they’ve done their homework.

The digital experience impacts patient happiness 

Patient happiness is proven to speed up the recovery process. And this is something we, at Rehab, have a keen interest in. We’ve been supporting Nottingham University scientists in their study to see if happiness can have a real impact on the immune system. So if you can improve a patient’s overall healthcare experience, it’ll no doubt have a correlation with their happiness, making for shorter stays in the hospital. 

WiFi SPARK® is the NHS’s most respected provider offering secure, high-speed hospital WiFi to staff, patients and visitors. And SPARK® Media is its entertainment platform that offers video calling as well. It’s a way to enable people to see and speak to each other using apps like Skype, Messenger, or Hangouts. The service also allows access to streaming media sites such as iPlayer, Netflix and PRIME. It’s free to use, available to everyone and enables users to rest, recover and relax. 

Digital sustainability

The latest education systems also have the ability for patients to order their meals digitally. Not only is this more convenient for the patient, but they can also learn about the nutritional values that the dishes offer.

This system is beneficial for hospitals as it helps cut down on food waste. It ensures that all meals are sent to the correct bed and stops people receiving food that they didn’t order. These integrated platforms can help generate revenue and save hundreds of thousands for organisations, all within a complete managed service solution.

Infact, SPARK® Media suggests a food wastage saving of £182,000 per year and advertising revenue of £15,000 per year.

Credit: Engin Akyurt || Pexels

Prioritising staff tasks

Throughout the day patients call upon doctors and nurses for all sorts of tasks. But often there is no way of knowing if it’s a high-priority request, or something less urgent, like getting someone a glass of water

With the advanced education system, requests can now be made digitally. That means, nurses and doctors can see the nature of the request, and either handle it at an appropriate time or forward it on to another member of the healthcare team, so it doesn’t impact a more serious need. This allows the staff to prioritise their time more efficiently and continue to offer a high level of service to all patients.

During The Beryl Institute study into the use of interactive technology to communicate with patients, six hospitals used interactive in-room monitors so patients could ask a variety of questions about their care, the hospital's food menu and to request minor services.

The technology proved to be beneficial to hospital staff as well as patients, as they were able to answer minor questions quickly and easily through the interactive monitors, and then deal with more urgent requests in person, saving them time and allowing them to not get too distracted from the ad-hoc requests throughout the day.

Credit: Bongkarn Thanyakij || Pexels

In summary, we know that people use digital technology for education and entertainment in their everyday lives. From Netflix and YouTube, to TikTok and DuoLingo, we know consumers are used to learning and being entertained both at home and on-the-go.

So there’s no reason why an experience in hospital should be any different. Of course, patient’s health and safety is the main priority and focus within any healthcare setting, but following on from that, it’s important that patients feel informed and reassured.

Digital patient education systems are a great way of addressing some of these issues. And on top of that, they can boost happiness, reduce waste, improve efficiency and help people feel connected to others when they need it most. When the medical world meets the technology world, amazing things can happen – and interactive patient systems are an integral part in the future of modern healthcare experiences.