What is a Connected Hospital? 

Whether it's a stay or a visit, here's how technology is making your experience more comfortable 

Hospitals are unique buildings – people pass through often maze-like hallways for a variety of reasons, sometimes regularly visiting the same space for an appointment or sometimes for just a night or two. According to the CDC, approximately 7 percent of Americans spend one night in a hospital a year

With so much activity, it's no surprise that visiting a hospital can be overwhelming. Luckily, connectivity can help by creating personalized experience by scheduling doctor’s appointments, finding your way around and being comfortable in your room.

Using data, the Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile devices, hospitals are transforming the way they connect with patients, employees and the building itself. 

For example, when the Ontario-based London Health Sciences Centre received complaints about overcrowding at a clinical facility, the hospital network—which covers 1.9 million-square-feet and serves over one million patients a year—implemented the new Honeywell Vector Space Sense at the facility. Through mobile app inputs, sensors in smart lights and bluetooth beacons, personnel are better able to understand how patients and employees use the building. The solution revealed what was happening in certain areas at specific times. This insight has helped inform better space usage allocation and scheduling, striking the balance between efficiency and comfort, and enabling the hospital to provide the highest level of care possible and make everyone more comfortable. 

Here are some additional ways, technology can improve your experience:

Finding your way

What room are you looking for? Where’s the lab? Map-based apps use building connectivity to provide clearer directions for moving about a hospital, which with many floors, corridors and rooms can be confusing for patients and visitors.

Putting comfort first

For hospital building managers, maintenance apps layer onto building systems for preventative analytics and energy efficiency. These apps can deliver outcomes in near-real time — from turning down the air conditioning in an unoccupied room, to monitoring the refrigerated temperature of oncology drugs.

Asset tracking

Nurses spend an inordinate amount of time looking for items critical to performing their jobs, like IV poles or thermometers, taking them away from caring for people. Asset tracking via a mobile app allows for better staff efficiency and use of space.

Make yourself at home

Control-based apps can enable patients and visitors to take charge of their surroundings, including an in-room TV, room temperature, food selection and window blinds — ultimately bringing some home comforts to the hospital. 

Rate your healthcare

Patient satisfaction apps will make it easy for patients and visitors to provide feedback on their satisfaction levels via a star-rating system, so that hospital administrators get direct and specific feedback.