Putting Patients’ Needs First: An iPad Program

Irritated birds, candy castles, building block creations and Facebook friends… these are part of the popular culture related to iPads, tablets, interactive apps and the wired world we live in. In the Radiology Department at Cincinnati Children’s, we wanted to capitalize on this familiar electronic medium to directly improve patient care.  At the main campus Radiology Department you will see iPads being used in a variety of ways to enhance your child’s experience.

In 2012, we were awarded a “Putting Patients First” grant by AHRA and Toshiba.  The grant funds were used to purchase 10 iPads to start an iPad program.  The main goals of the iPad program were to improve the radiology patient experience and decrease the need for sedation or anesthesia for radiology procedures.  Since we have begun using iPads, we have found that the ability to have the Internet, apps for all different ages, and many options for music and videos has improved patient cooperation as well as the overall patient experience.  In addition, we have found that the iPads have directly contributed to a reduction in the percentage of patients requiring sedation or anesthesia for their procedure, especially for children ages 3-6 years old.

Using the generosity of the “Putting Patients First” grant, we have created an iPad program that has improved patient care, safety, and satisfaction. While the initial goals of the program have been met, we have found that the possibilities are endless. Since the initial grant, we have expanded the iPad program and now use the devices to collect survey information on how we can improve your family’s experience and our patient care advocate uses an iPad to help your family check appointment times.

One of the most exciting developments has been our partnership with the Department of Diversity at Cincinnati Children’s to use an interpreter app to communicate with non-English-speaking families. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive; everyone agrees that the iPad program has helped us provide safer and more seamless care for your child.

Catherine Leopard

About the Author: Catherine Leopard

Catherine is a Child Life Specialist who works in Cincinnati Children’s Department of Radiology. She has always been drawn to helping children overcome their fears. As a young child, Catherine remembers sitting in her pediatrician’s office feeling sad as she listened to young babies crying in exam rooms. In response, she began singing lullabies through the walls to sooth and comfort those children in distress. As an adult, she first experienced the support of Child Life when her infant daughter was hospitalized. After that positive experience, Catherine completed her Child Life internship at Cincinnati Children’s and has worked here ever since. Her daughter is now a teenager and her son is an active 3rd grader.

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