Hospitals are often framed with fear; a visit to one is usually anything but normal. During procedures, children must remain still for 15-30 minutes or longer while surrounded by massive medical equipment. It can be a nerve-racking, uncomfortable, and scary experience. Susan Sugg, Manager of Child Life Services at the James and Connie Maynard Children’s hospital at Vidant Medical Center, explains, “In the treatment room, you’re very limited to how child-friendly you can make it. Before, there was a physical limitation, and technology hadn’t evolved to the point it has today.”
Vidant Medical Services providing children a relaxing environment
With the addition of a new children’s hospital, Vidant was dedicated to finding a better way to provide a pleasant experience during a child’s visit to the medical center. As part of the new James and Connie Maynard Children’s Hospital, Vidant envisioned four diversion rooms with the goal of reducing anxiety.
With both the child and family in mind, Vidant looked to KONTEK systems for a sensory-driven solution of lights, sound, and visuals to successfully defuse the anxiety of children and appease the worry of their families.
KONTEK created four diversion room experience with synchronized video content, 360-degree lighting and audio. Requiring reliable hardware that can easily integrate with third-party touch panels, KONTEK installed SpinetiX HMP200 players as the source for the four videos at the heart of the diversion experience: a spaceship launch, an undersea theme, and two sand art paintings. The technology transforms the intimidating space into a dynamic, engaging, and imagination-filled atmosphere for the child.
The SpinetiX platform easily integrated with third-party devices through API features giving both staff and patients a simple interface to control the solution. The ability to play, pause, and stop the video with in-room touch panels allowed the solution to adhere to medical guidelines, letting all interface points to be cleaned via antiseptic. Known for its reliability, SpinetiX HMP players insured not only maximum uptime but also minimum upkeep.
With a press of the spaceship icon on the tablet inside the diversion room, celestial hues of purples and blues illuminate the walls as the screens on the ceiling display a futuristic space shuttle. There is a low rumble from the spaceship’s engine and a muffled voice over the intercom initiates the countdown. Instead of the starch, sterile hospital room, an exploration of space begins and the journey continues with flashes of bright colors as the spaceship revs past asteroids, neighboring planets, and nearby galaxies.
A lot of times, parents are bringing their children into procedures at the Maynard Children’s Hospital that they themselves know nothing about. There’s a lot of fear of the unknown and of the results. Susan recalls, “Before, we could only hope that we made the experience a little better for the kids.” she says, “With the diversion rooms, you an physically see the difference you’ve made in that child’s life. You see the total relaxation of the child and their family members. There’s even some laughter and amazement.”
In addition to creating a pleasant experience for young patients and their families, these sensory-rich diversion rooms have proved to be multi-functional. “The diversion room solution is very versatile,” says Leah Wilson, a Child Life Specialist at the children’s hospital. “I often use the aquarium to play ‘I Spy’ with the kids…’I spy a blue fish, where’s the blue fish?” Susan adds in, “I think they (KONTEK) delivered a solution with attention to all the difference details, all different sense.” So successful were these diversion rooms that Vidant plans to continue the concept into the new six-floor cancer center and bed tower for patients of all ages.
Follow the link to see a diversion room in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngz0tEDn1qc