Monday, October 6, 2014 12:00 AM

Interactive TVs engage patients in their healing

The GetWell Network turns the television in patients’ rooms throughout Community Medical Centers' three hospitals into an entertainment and education portal where they can watch video education courses and view discharge instructions tailored just for them – in English or Spanish. Such technology shows patients and their families exactly what improvements they must achieve to be discharged and how to make sure healing continues at home, with videos on how to care for stitches and take their follow-up medication.

Data pulled in September 2014 from patient surveys showed 86% of Community patients felt the interactive technology contributed to their care and 91% said it effectively provided health education.

A nurse at Clovis Community Medical Center shows a new patient how to use the interactive GetWell Network to learn about her procedure, medications and hospital safety, and how to give staff feedback through her keyboard or TV remote control.

“My experience here at Community Regional Medical Center has truly been a blessing. The technology that the facility has is awesome – where it gave me feedback on most of my medications, patient safety, pain management, side effects, etc.,” wrote a recent patient in the medical-surgical unit. The patient appreciated the follow up reinforcement from nurses after viewing medication information. “I just would like to say thank you for taking such good care of me when I was here and teaching me how to take better care of myself.”

A Clovis Community Medical Center patient had a similar reaction, writing to nurses in the feedback feature of the GetWell Network, “I have learned so much about my procedure and how to better care for myself … The clinical manager came in and educated me on the GetWell Network and had a great smile the whole time. My stay has been such a positive experience.”

Patients can type requests and comments to nurses, ask for their meals and provide feedback to the nutrition staff on the interactive GetWell Network. At Community Regional on some units, a nightly communication reminds patients of ways caregivers can help them get needed rest. A follow up inquiry on the TV asks patients to rate how quiet the environment is so adjustments can be made to help patients sleep. The five-month pilot project is already making a difference with patients reporting on post-hospitalization surveys they noticed the quiet, pushing patient satisfaction with that aspect of their care into the 85th-95th percentile of hospitals nationally on those units.

The GetWell Network also helps nurses and physicians keep track of the education family and patients are viewing so they can check for understanding and answer questions.

Community just won two awards at the GetWell Network’s national conference for using the technology to enhance the patient experience and better engage families and patients in their care. At the 6th annual Interactive Patient Care Awards in Chicago this past summer Community competed against 70 other hospitals and earned two awards:

  • The Leadership Award – for having strong leadership engagement to drive interactive patient care and being a true leader in the industry.
  • Overall Achievement Award – the most prestigious award for demonstrating high use of the technology by caregivers and improved patient outcomes.


Erin Kennedy reported this story. She can be reached at