Bedside app eases stress of hospital patients

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Regardless of being planned or unexpected – getting admitted to the hospital is fraught with stress and anxiety. A new app available Ohio State patients aims to ease some of that potential stress, while also making patients and their loved ones more digitally connected to the care team.

MyChart Bedside is a tablet-based app available for patients admitted to Ohio State Medical Center. Through the app, patients (or their families) can manage a wide range of tasks, including sending messages to members of their care teams, viewing latest test results, ordering meals and seeing profiles of their care team, as well  as accessing the internet and basic games.

The app is available on a patient’s own tablet or Ohio State will provide a tablet – free of charge – to use during their stay. 

Easing the stress of patients

Sue B. was recently hospitalized for an extended period and opted to use the MyChart Bedside app.

“With everything that causes stress when you are in the hospital – pain, frequent tests, worries about unknowns – having MyChart Bedside took care of some of the simple things that provided some peace of mind amidst everything else,” says Sue.

In addition to easily ordering her meals, she valued seeing photos and bios of her care team. This allowed her to more easily remember their names and responsibilities for her care.

Leading the way implementing new technology

Ohio State Wexner Medical Center was the first academic medical center to implement MyChart Bedside.

Ohio State received a $4 million grant to roll out the app and to understand how it can improve the patient experience.

“MyChart Bedside allows patients and families to be as engaged as they desire with the patient care team and with the activities that occur around their hospitalization,” says Milisa Rizer, MD, MPH, chief clinical information officer.

"It allows messaging to their providers as well as patient education activities, where they can learn at their own pace. Our partnership with Epic has allowed us to be leaders in the field of patient engagement, which we see as being critical to our patients' health."

Improving efficiency of hospital staff

Blaze Hirsch, BSN, CMSRN, nurse manager at Ohio State Brain and Spine Hospital, volunteered early on to be part of a committee to identify opportunities and best practices using MyChart Bedside.

“When the app first came out, I remember thinking how cool it was,” says Hirsch. “I made it my mission to make sure my patients had access to this tool, and I began actively promoting it.”

MyChart Bedside provides a way to engage patients in their medical care. Nursing and patient care staff can provide patients with educational handouts and videos about their post-hospitalization care and show patients trends in lab results and point out specific indicators. Patients have shown appreciation that they can continue to access this information from home after they leave the hospital through Ohio State myHealth app.

Now, more than ever, ongoing care at Ohio State is participatory and accessible for patients through this tool.

“MyChart Bedside truly impacts patients today,” says Blaze. “It gives them insight into all the care that is being provided to them, much of which they might not otherwise realize or see firsthand — from medicine, vital signs and access to patient education to ordering meals or the ability to either chat with their providers or learning a little bit about their care team. All of these benefits are combined into a single app to enhance their overall experience.”

How do you sign up for MyChart?

You can sign up for MyChart online or via the Ohio State myHealth app. Just search "Ohio State myHealth" in the app store. Answer a few questions to validate your identity and confirm that you have been seen at Wexner Medical Center or an affiliated hospital. By signing up for MyChart today, you can manage your health care even easier tomorrow. 

Remember, if you have an urgent medical issue contact your provider or call 911 in case of emergency.

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