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TV On Demand Helping Educate Patients During Hospital Stay

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RALEIGH, N.C. — If you spend any time in the hospital, chances are, you are going to watch a lot of television. Hospitals are now using TVs to teach patients about their health.

Many hospitals emphasize the importance of patient education. Teaching someone how to manage their heart disease or blood pressure is a great way to prevent repeat trips to the hospital.

Now that information is just a click away.

Digital TV On Demand is a new technology offered at WakeMed, and other hospitals, to educate patients. Patients simply dial up the topic they want -- anytime they want.

Ray Thornton went to WakeMed for angioplasty to unclog two blockages in his heart. He had had the procedure before and even watched some of it.

"I've seen it before, but you go in and out because you're drugged for the pain," he said.

Prior to the procedure, he learned all about what to expect by watching television.

Nurse educator Kimberly Privette has always shown patients educational tapes, but said it was not always easy.

"The nurses would roll the TV into the room and show whatever video they wanted to teach the patient about. It was very time consuming, plus you had to take turns using it," she said.

TV On Demand is more convenient for patients and frees up nurses. Family members also benefit from watching the videos.

"Many times, it's the family that gets the most out of it, because they're the caretaker when they get home," Privette said.

Each video lasts about 20 to 30 minutes. Topics include heart disease, parenting skills and different surgeries. Patients can watch the videos in English or Spanish.

The technology is provided by Telehealth Services, of Raleigh, and used across the country.


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