Five innovations in children’s hospitals that ease the working routines of nurses and/or ease hospital interactions for parents are the NICU2HOME mobile solution, BLUELOPP diabetes tracking, Seacrest Studios, innovative health & wellness offerings and a home visiting model for parents and nurses.
1. NICU2HOME MOBILE SOLUTION
- The Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago is one of several hospitals that has recently introduced the NICU2HOME app to assist parents of new children in the neonatal intensive care unit with their interactions with the hospital.
- For example, the free, secure app allows parents who are unable to make it to the hospital for daily rounds to participate virtually in their child’s room in a manner similar to FaceTime while a doctor conducts daily visits in the pediatric intensive-care unit.
- Additionally, the app is a method of communication between the hospital and parents, and allows hospitals to send quick, daily updates to parents.
- Meanwhile, the app also offers a “Journey Map” that helps parents track their child’s progress, provides reference materials specific to the child’s needs and offers a secure location for families and friends to post and share related information.
- Parents have responded positively to the NICU2HOME app, commenting that it helps them feel included in the process and communicate with the hospital during their child’s stay.
2. BLUELOPP DIABETES TRACKING
- The Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee recently introduced the BLUELOPP app, which helps makes parents visits to the hospital easier and more effective by allowing parents to quickly record blood-sugar levels, carbohydrate intake and other information throughout the day.
- Given that children with diabetes have to check their blood-sugar levels up to ten times per day, the app has helped parents manage what is an otherwise overwhelming task, and made it easier when visiting and reporting information to their child’s doctors and hospital overall.
- Parents have responded that the BLUELOOP app has “changed my life,” while several hospitals have reported that parents appreciate the instant notifications and how it helps them work with their hospital.
3. SEACREST STUDIOS
- The Children’s Hospital Colorado, Aurora is one of many that have embraced the offerings of Seacrest Studios, a creative broadcasting network established by the Ryan Seacrest Foundation which facilitates patient-hosted shows for children and parents in hospitals.
- Specifically, Seacrest Studios creates a more fun, relaxing and relatable environment for parents and children in hospitals by allowing both to directly engage in real time with other parents and children in a similar situation, as well as stars and heroes, all while enjoying creative programming produced by and for kids.
- Parents have reported how moving it is to watch their children engage with others in a hospital setting through Seacrest Studios, while Seacrest Studios believes that the creative outlet facilitates healing for all parties during a child’s stay in the hospital.
4. HEALTH & WELLNESS PROGRAM
- Valley Children’s Healthcare was recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Nursing Magnet, and as Workplace of the Year by the Advisory Board, in part due to the hospital’s innovated health and wellness program.
- Going well beyond traditional health and wellness offerings, the hospital offers weekly farmers markets, massages on-site, yoga classes and walking groups for nurses and other staff.
- Additionally, the hospital’s “Our Best” initiative looks to create higher levels of employee engagement and satisfaction by fostering a culture of collaboration and stewardship.
- These efforts, in addition to many other health and wellness initiatives, help ease the working routines and burdens of nurses at the hospital.
- However, the health and wellness program at Valley Children’s Heathcare appears to have had a more muted impact, given that the hospital is rated only slightly above average by employees on Indeed, with a rating of 3.5 stars overall, a rating of 3.5 stars for work-life balance, and with many of the hospital’s nurses offering mixed feedback about the hospital’s work environment and work life balance, despite its health and wellness program.
5. HOME VISITING MODEL
- The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia this past September of 2019 introduce a new home visiting project called Community-Clinical Systems Integration: Leveraging Primary Care to Enhance Home Visiting and Other Early Childhood Supports.
- Using a grant from the Vanguard Strong Start for Kids Program, the hospital started an “innovative” home visiting nurses program to support the health and hospital experience of mothers and young children as well as improve the working situation for nurses.
- Ultimately, the program is being monitored to confirm that it achieves its goals of improving child health, reducing emergency room visits, increasing awareness of child care options and strengthening nurse retention and satisfaction.
- Although the program remains in its infancy, with a pilot of approximately 60 families beginning this winter, feedback from the media and at large as been positive.