Patient TV services are a major part of patient entertainment throughout the NHS. Long gone are the days of a single TV being wheeled in and stuck in the corner of the room, or a radio being played for an hour in the evenings. Although it’s a vast improvement on these options, current entertainment systems that are in the majority of hospitals are severely outdated.
Here’s how patient entertainment systems should be in 2019 and how the NHS can improve on the current ones installed.
- How Do Patient Entertainment Systems Help?
- The Current State of Patient Entertainment Systems
- How Patient Entertainment Systems Should Be in 2019
How Do Patient Entertainment Systems Help?
Patients can often get bored in hospitals so entertainment systems are a great way to distract them from the issues that they’re facing and also make time pass quicker during their stay.
Patient TV systems are multifunctional too. Not only are they there to provide entertainment, but they can also be integrated with the hospital Trust’s meal ordering provider, a tasking system, patient information, educative content, games, radio, messaging and more.
This can help to reduce food wastage in hospitals. It’s estimated that avoidable food waste costs the NHS £230 million each year. This stems from food being sent to the wrong beds or being prepared for patients who have specific dietary requirements. The right management system can link individual patients to their bed and ward number so if they move, their meals can be redirected to them.
Staff ad-hoc tasks are also made much simpler with the right system in place. Rather than being called over to a bed for straightforward tasks like fetching another pillow or a glass of water, the message can be relayed more efficiently to a different member in the team which would allow for better productivity within the hospital.
These entertainment systems can also serve an educational purpose. For example, they’re an easy way to bring up the x-rays of a patient or show an informational video that covers something related to their healthcare. It lets the patients take control of their own healthcare journey, which in 2019 is important to do.
The Current State of Patient Entertainment Systems
In the early 2000s, hospitals introduced entertainment systems - many of which are still used in Trusts today. These bedside systems featured small screens that can be dragged across and repositioned on a moveable arm to get the desired viewing position.
Although the legacy systems currently in use are a great improvement on shared TVs and radios, the costs can quickly add up if patients want to watch TV every day. In some hospitals, the price of watching TV could reach up to £10 a day, which if you’re in hospital for a long while, can soon become really pricey.
Technology has improved since then, deeming these legacy systems outdated and insufficient to meet modern demands. For example, the screens are bulky, are often in the way of ward staff and are far from user-friendly.
How Patient Entertainment Systems Should Be in 2019
Many NHS Trusts are looking for a more cost-effective, user-friendly alternative. The legacy systems, which are at least 10 years out of date, should be replaced by an engaging and informative patient entertainment system - like SPARKⓇ Media.
SPARKⓇ Media has a variety of innovative functionalities that can help both the patient and the NHS staff. These include allowing patients to:
- Easily view live TV, music channels and gain access to a vast library of movies and albums.
- Access electronic food menus and the ability to order their meals.
- Easily get the nurses attention without having to interrupt them. This could be used for requesting small tasks like an extra blanket and ensures these requests are forwarded to the right member of staff, rather than taking other team members away from their other vital tasks.
- Access educational resources, including videos of diagnosis and tutorials. This allows the patient to take control of their own healthcare. It also means they can check aspects of their healthcare without having to ask an NHS staff member (potentially disturbing them from their tasks) and allows medical practitioners to quickly bring up a digital window to their notes without needing to search for them.
And, the most beneficial aspect of SPARKⓇ Media is that the system can be accessed via the device of the patient’s (or staff member’s) choice, whether it’s their mobile phone or a hospital-owned tablet.
Improve Healthcare by Improving Patient Entertainment Systems
Modern entertainment systems are a much more cost-effective option than the traditional bedside units. Solutions, like SPARKⓇ Media, can help. After all, entertained patients are happy patients and you want to make their time in hospital as easy and carefree as it possibly can be so it’s vital you choose the right hospital patient entertainment system.
If you’d like to find out more about how hospital entertainment systems can benefit the NHS, download a free copy of our SPARKⓇ Media brochure below.