I Pads for patient education

  1. Hi all,

    Are any of your hospitals handing out I Pads or tablets to patients? We just started this. On one hand, they are nice...patients can send me a message, or know when their meds are due. On the other hand, they are expected to read all of their education topics and mark off that they read and understood it (postpartum unit). I sort of feel like a part of what I do as a nurse has been taken away. The patients don't seem excited about it, but perhaps it's because I am not sold yet. What are your thoughts?
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   greenerpastures
    Reading on an ipad is ridiculous. We don't teach children in school by giving them an ipad and telling them to check a box. We have them read and interact through lessons, we review, we check for understanding and reinforcement OVER AND OVER AGAIN! Just another one of those things that people who want to be able to "check a box" came up with to be able to fill their spreadsheet effectively. UGH!
  4. by   Jolie
    I recently had a course of PT for an ankle injury. The first thing I did was to take a survey on an iPad about my reasons for seeking treatment, goals and expectations, limitations, etc. It seemed like a pretty efficient way of gathering that data, which was then compared to a survey at my last treatment. The therapist reviewed the final results with me to demonstrate my progress and what I should continue to work on at home. I found the immediate feedback useful for that purpose.

    If I had been handed an iPad to read instructional material, I would have been much less impressed. It sounds like your hospital has found a way to turf the responsibility for education back on to the patient, at a time when interaction with an experienced nurse is needed for clarification and reassurance. I would not be happy, as a patient or as a staff nurse.

    Your description reminds me of my recent experiences in doctors' offices where the almighty EMR apparently trumps thoughtful conversation and interaction between the patient and provider. I regularly see one doctor whose office is not set up with laptops, but rather uses desk top computers, forcing the provider to have his/her back to the patient during most discussions. In my OB?GYN's office there is apparently a Wi-Fi "dead zone" that prevents reception in some exam rooms. My NP literally had to run out to the hallway to enter information at multiple points during my last exam.

    In many ways, this is not an advancement, but an impediment to good relationships and patient care.
  5. by   DisneyNurseGal
    I like the idea in some patent care areas as ONE form of education. Some people learn better by reading and the younger generation reads better on electronics than a piece of paper.
    I think as long as this is not the only education done and it is followed up with teach back and verbal education, it could be good
  6. by   quazar
    I have only experienced this in one hospital where I worked, and the patients honestly only used the ipads for surfing the internet, not reading their education information.

    I do wonder, however, if that might be an age thing. My 23 year old niece used nothing BUT tablets and laptops in college, and she used them a LOT in high school. She didn't use physical textbooks AT ALL. Her testing was done online and/or via the tablets. This is a totally bizarre concept to me because I'm 20 years older than her, but I think it's simply because I wasn't raised on technology the way she and her generation have been.

    Perhaps it's a good idea for younger patients who are very comfortable with technology in this respect, I dunno. Just thinking out loud here.
  7. by   tnbutterfly
    Moved to Patient Education.
  8. by   HouTx
    I hope a qualified educator is evaluating this new initiative. Many times, a snazzy delivery media can overpower the actual educational process. The overall effectiveness should be evaluated by measuring achievement of the learner objectives.... comparing the new method to the older, more traditional methods. Frequently, it turns out that 'new' is not better, no matter how much fun it is.

    As an educator, I am amazed how many times I come across horrible 'digital' educational courses. They have simply taken a tired old text-based module and put it on a screen..... what a waste. Instead, we (educators) should re-design the content to take advantage of the new media by adding video or animation, inserting hyperlinks to encourage self-exploration of interesting topics, providing real-time feedback, etc.

    So, PLEASE - apply the same level of evidence-based logic that you would for other interventions. Insist on evaluating the effects of change before just accepting them.
  9. by   Proverbs16:24
    I see this as one way to not perform hourly rounds and communicate with the patient. I'm curious to know was the ultimate goal to allow more time to cater to patient needs or is it to have more time for documentation?
    Last edit by Proverbs16:24 on Mar 17
  10. by   meanmaryjean
    I want to know how many iPads you lose weekly to theft.
  11. by   kataraang
    EW, GROSS.
    Infection control nightmare.

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I Pads for patient education