GetWellNetwork helps nurses educate patients in new ways

GetWellNetwork helps nurses educate patients in new ways

nurse and patient in hospital room
Alana Downs, RN, performs a bedside barcode scan on patient Rudolph Antonini before introducing him to the GetWellNetwork's patient-education capabilities, including on-demand review of his medications.

When Carmen Pal, RN, BSN, PCCN, thinks of herself as a patient, she envisions wanting to know as much as possible about her own care. Perhaps that is why Pal, a 3D staff-development specialist, so strongly advocates the innovative GetWellNetwork®.

The GetWellNetwork allows nurses to enhance their patients’ experiences with helpful, real-time education about their diagnoses, procedures and medications via touch screen at the bedside. Medication information and many of the 350 educational videos are available in both English and Spanish.

Accessed through the bedside monitor that already provides television and Internet access, the GetWellNetwork surpasses conventional hospital-room entertainment. Linked to Powerchart, it allows nurses to prescribe individually appropriate educational materials for their patients.

A prompt invites patients to review educational videos tailored to their needs. For example, a postsurgical patient might receive information about pneumatic-compression boots, or new mothers might view presentations about breast feeding or car-seat safety. The “prescription” for education, and whether the patient completes it, becomes part of her medical-record documentation.

“The educational videos are the perfect way to reinforce the teaching that nurses are doing,” says Pal. “On our unit we often need to teach patients and their family members how to perform trach care, which can be overwhelming and complex. But when they watch the video and then we explain the procedure, it makes more sense to them and takes away a lot of the anxiety associated with learning something new.”

Amy Spencer, RN, 5D staff-development specialist, adds that the innovative, interactive technology appeals to most learning styles, making it a win-win opportunity for nurses and patients.

To help address the National Patient Safety Goal of medication safety, GetWellNetwork allows the nurse to pull up a patient’s medication list and review with him the purpose, use and potential side effects of each medicine. One of the 10 questions each patient is asked in a satisfaction survey through GetWellNetwork is whether their caregiver explained medication side effects.

While many nurses do currently take advantage of the technology to educate their patients, Katherine Pereira-Ogan, RN-BC, BSN, MSSL, director of Service Excellence, believes we’ve only begun to tap the capabilities of this powerful approach to patient education

“Our HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) scores increased 4 percent with only 21 percent of patients receiving medication education through GetWellNetwork,” she said. “Imagine how much our scores could increase if all of our patients received education this way.”

The medication review was particularly important to a patient who recently commented, via GetWell Network, “My nurse was exceptional. He took the time to go over each of my medicines and explained the reason for each new med I was given. He is a credit to Christiana Hospital and should be commended for doing an outstanding job.” Pereira-Ogan hopes comments like this inspire even more nurses to rely on GetWellNetwork in their quest to deliver the optimal patient-care experience.