Going to the hospital can generate a lot of anxiety for a patient, and their loved ones. New Hanover Regional Medical Center is using technology to help ease the pain. During surgery, family members sitting in the waiting room can keep track of their loved one's progress on a television screen. Similar to checking your flight status at the airport, these monitors show the progress of an operation. "In a hospital, one of the most difficult things is to not know what's going on,” said Avery Cloud, CIO of New Hanover Regional Medical Center. New Hanover regional medical center is helping solve this problem by placing patient information boards in the waiting room of the surgical pavilion unit. Friends and family can track their loved ones through each stage of surgery. "Providing information to patients and their families is a way to reduce anxiety,” Cloud stated. Don't worry, a patient's name isn't listed on the board, instead, each patient is assigned a code, which is given out to the patient and their waiting family. "It’s almost like when you're waiting on your plane, you feel good that it's going to make it here or it's going to be completed at the time you suggest so it may give you that same type of feeling,” said Bryant Harllee whose wife was in surgery. Doctors use the same monitors to tell when a patient is prepped and ready to go. Cloud said the technology does not take away from doctors’ personal communication with family members; on the flip side, the monitors are intended to enhance communication. “When it's time to communicate critical information, especially if it's difficult information, that will take place in a person to person setting,” Cloud explained. While sitting in the waiting room, family members are also given a pager. The family is alerted when the doctor wants to talk to them about the patient.
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