“I wasn’t sure I would want to see the images, but it was amazing how at ease it made me.” This is one of the most common reactions we hear from families following their experience with EASE after a loved one’s surgery. A text message, picture or even a short video clip from the operating room creates an unparalleled level of inclusion and transparency that has never been seen before in medicine.
We live in an age of not only instant communication, but one in which people tell the stories of their lives through pictures and videos. Many people even post these pictures and videos all over the internet through various forms of social media. The EASE concept grew from our hospital’s desire to Instagram and Twitter out the progress of a pediatric cardiac case nearly three years ago. The response and subsequent demand from other families for the same experience was the reason we created EASE. There was a need and demand from families for this type of access and inclusion into their loved one’s medical progress. EASE is the most secure, simplest, and most transparent way for medical professionals to communicate with a patient’s family during surgery. EASE has created an entire new way to communicate with a patient and their family.
As we all know, family and friends are a key part of a patient’s recovery. They provide a level of physical and emotional support to patients that extends well beyond the patient’s hospital stay. Accordingly, it just makes sense that we include them so instantly and visually in the surgical process. If there was one true discovery that we made during the start of the EASE experience, it was the profound affect that a picture or a short video message can have on increasing understanding and decreasing anxiety during a loved one’s surgery.
Ironically, doctors have been sharing pictures with patients for a long time, but not in real-time using HIPAA compliant texting. This just occurred postoperatively in the waiting room or in the doctor’s office. Now EASE allows this information to be shared in as it happens with an accompanied explanation from your medical professional in a safe and secure manner. This small glimpse into the operating room is not just an innovative way to communicate, it is the right thing to do. In over 3000 surgeries at our own hospital, 99% of families responded to a survey that the nature of the images sent through EASE were appropriate; with 98% of those same families saying the experience of EASE reduced their anxiety. This is the kind of medical experience that patients and there families should expect and deserve from their hospitals. This type of patient communication helps lead to better satisfaction scores in hospitals and improves healthcare communication.
Kevin de la Roza, MD
Pediatric Cardiac Anesthesiologist
The Heart Center at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children