The last thing anyone thinks of when they hear that a loved one is being rushed to Memorial Hospital is to bring along a charger for their cell phone.
Often, Murphy’s Law takes hold and the phone dies, it seems, just when it’s needed the most. Family members can’t use their phone to call other family members; and they can’t access their contacts list to find the telephone numbers for those who need to be notified.
To alleviate that frustration and improve the experience at Memorial, the Patient Centered Care Council is spearheading the installation of four charging stations in the emergency departments at Memorial Hospital North and Memorial Hospital Central and in the Family Waiting area and café at MHC.
“I think it’ll be great,’’ said Sarah Hartman, manager of labor and delivery at Memorial Hospital North. “Everyone lives on their phones these days, and having charging stations available will give people an avenue to keep their phones charged.’’
The Rev. Christopher Keith, chair of the Patient-Centered Care Council, said that “People come here in crisis and don’t think about packing their gear. They’re following an ambulance. And certainly if a person gets here with a dead phone, this will be a win. From a patient experience perspective, this is a low-cost way of meeting a high-tech need.’’
Each charging station has eight cords – four Apple and four Android – to charge phones. The stations are mounted on a wall, like a flat-screen TV, and contain cooling motors and the high-speed charging cables. The cables can be updated to accommodate new technology.
Having the charging stations also alleviates the number of requests that nurses receive to charge cell phones at the nurse’s station. Nurses often provide their own personal chargers for patient’s family members to use, but nurses can now direct patient’s family and friends to the charging stations for juice in the battery.
“It’s a quick win for our council and it will help improve the patient experience,’’ Keith said.
In the mother-baby unit where Hartman works, the need for a charged phone is so important to new parents and their family and friends.
“No one carries a camera any more, and people are always taking photos and videos of their baby and posting them online. I know these stations are well-used at University of Colorado Hospital,’’ Hartman said.