Patient Entertainment Systems Are Changing, Are You?

Written by: Robin Veinotte, Director of New Ventures

The traditional model of Hospital TV Systems is antiquated and expensive. Are you looking for a new patient entertainment system and want to know what the market has for you? Here we highlight some main points that you should be looking for, at a very high level.

No facility is buying analog TV’s that hang from the bedside arms and use up valuable real estate in the patient pod or bedside anymore. That type of system is typically too expensive for the patient at $15-$20 a day, and simply put, the system isn’t great. Offering only 12 channel to choose from isn’t good enough anymore. We expect to see all those systems removed from all modern facilities in the next 5 years and replaced with more modern solutions that are application (App) based. If you are thinking of renewing that type of bedside system or are building a new facility and are considering installing it to match your other sites – stop.

Modern patient entertainment vendors offer a fully integrated patient experience platform that offers many features such as access to patient schedules, medical records (in the USA), meal ordering, TV, rehab videos, etc. However, the usage rate for patients on some of those extra features is extremely low if the Hospital does not include training the patients as a part of the nursing process.  If you are in a location that Health Care is publicly funded, you may want to look at something simplistic in nature for Patient Television access. If you are in a competitive market in the private sector, then these differentiators make a lot of sense.

BYOD (bring your own device) is becoming a popular choice for cost effectiveness. Many of our customers are looking at pursuing this route to reduce the amount of screens they have to procure and manage. They are then spending that extra capital on upgrading to an airgap network for patient entertainment and IoT and using Wi-Fi Authentication services such as SolutionIP Flex.

Systems like this, give patients access to a dedicated WiFi Network where they can watch TV supplied by the Hospital for free in a web browser or an app downloaded during their stay. This is a cost-effective way to deliver the service and in most cases, facilities are not charging the patient for access. In return, the facility is not spending thousands of dollars per bed on overpriced screens for each room. It’s important to note that most of these deployments have a tablet rental strategy for those without a device, and the TV App emulates a cable TV experience as older patients require a simplistic offering; not something that has hundreds of features.

We hope this helps you establish a baseline to work with while you start your search for an updated Patient Entertainment or Patient TV services for your facility. If you want to learn a little more about the patient experience with this technology, take a look at our video.

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