A Nurse Perspective on Patient Communication from the Operating Room

The EASE Program was created to decrease the anxiety of families during their loved one’s surgery and increase their understanding of the medical process. What we didn’t anticipate was the increased bond it created between those nurses sending hipaa compliant messages and families receiving them.  One of the most rewarding aspects of patient care can many times be the actual  interactions of healthcare providers with patients and their loved ones. To see the medical process play out and contribute to a patient’s improvement is why medical professionals do what they do. To then experience the increase in patient satisfaction is many times a reward in itself, but by the very nature of their jobs, operating room nurses and staff do not have much interaction with patients and their families. They have a limited experience with their patients and patient families that is appropriately focused on surgical outcomes and operating room efficiency. That is until EASE. EASE allows operating room staff to maintain secure medical communication with their patient families that they never had before and deliver a stream of communication and information that families in the waiting room have for too long desired.

As with any great hospital initiatives, EASE is dependent on excellent experience provided by the hospital’s nursing staff. The doctors who created EASE were well aware of this fact and created a program that was easy for all to use, fast, and non disruptive to the busy workflow of the operating room. Overwhelming results from both families who have experienced EASE and those nurses who are using the EASE program have verified that EASE is the premier form of hospital communication between clinicians and their patient loved ones during surgery.  26 operating nurses at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando, FL, where the EASE program was created, were surveyed and convincingly showed that:

• EASE is a better way than a phone call to communicate.

• EASE is more reliable than a phone call.

• EASE is more efficient than a phone call or in-person update.

• EASE is valuable to families.

• EASE is enjoyable to their work flow.



“It is so seamless, it just becomes second nature,” says cardiac surgical nurse Kara Dobson, BSN, RN, PCCN. “It is so natural to take out my phone and text when I am not at work that it easily becomes routine at work.”  After much research by the EASE team interviewing families after surgery, they found that at about every 30 minutes from a previous update, families begin to start feeling nervous about their loved one’s surgery. The app also has a feature that reminds the nurse to update the family every 30 minutes, when possible.

The nurses have found this reminder very helpful and not to interrupt their workday.  Sometimes Dobson sends updates more often if the surgeon sees something interesting and wants to show the family. The surgeon can display images on the monitors in the room with an internal camera, and Dobson can take a screen shot and send the photograph to the family. Other advantages of EASE touted by operating room nurses using the program are how much more efficient they feel and how EASE does not get in the way of their clinical duties. “The app actually makes communicating with the family easier and doesn’t disrupt the workflow as much as making a call,” says Dobson. “I can send a quick text and keep going.”

For more information on bringing the EASE program to your hospital, contact EASE Applications today.

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