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Human-Centered Healthcare Technology: Consider the User Impact

Acute Care July 15, 2019

To say that technology has changed – is changing – how healthcare is delivered is an understatement. The Gartner Group estimates that worldwide, hospital IT spending will grow by 2.8 percent this year from its $3.7 trillion 2018 level.


“Would it surprise you to hear that nurses spend twice as much time interacting with technology than they do interacting directly with patients?” wrote recently. It shared a University of Pittsburgh Medical Center study that found that nurses spent one-third of their time using technology, compared to 7.2 percent of their time spent on bedside patient care, and less than 9 percent on assessing and interacting with patients.

Deploying more and more technology that adds functionality but also adds more administrative workload and headaches for the end user is not the path to better patient care. The key to wisely leveraging technology is to make technology purchase decisions not solely on capabilities or the price or what the competitor is launching. As importantly, technology decisions must keep in mind the impact they will have on the people using it – the nurses, support staff, patients, and patient families.

Human-centered decision-making means choosing technology based on its ability to have a positive impact on the user, whether that is improving communication, enhancing connection, helping people work more efficiently, or reducing stress and burnout.


For all the industry headlines around improving the patient experience and nurse satisfaction, there’s a surprising “humanity deficit” when it comes to technology purchase and implementation decisions. That is according to a recent study by Vocera. The study found that fewer than one in five healthcare executives said their organization has a set of human-centered criteria for assessing and implementing technology. Most buy and implement technology based primarily on price and functionality.

In fact, human factors appear to be far down the list of criteria when considering healthcare technology. That includes asking things like the following:

  • Does the technology streamline administrative work?
  • Will it facilitate communication?
  • Does it help patients get involved in their care?
  • Does it create time for patient interactions?

The good news is that answering those questions positively, while also meeting price and functionality criteria, has never been easier with interactive patient engagement technology like Sentrics’ E3. At Sentrics, we know the positive impact that technology can have on nurse satisfaction, nurse workflow efficiency, patient satisfaction, and patient outcomes. Our E3 interactive patient engagement solution is proving to be a game changer for hospitals across the country looking to improve in all of those areas. Here are a few ways that Sentrics is delivering a human-centered tech solution.


E3 takes the nurse out of routine, non-clinical tasks that reduce available time for patient care. Using the E3 portal on their television, tablet, or bedside monitor, the patient can now request more blankets or a glass of juice without interrupting a nurse. Patients can adjust their own room temperatures, even lower their window blinds, for a more restful, comfortable stay – on their own, with no nurse intervention needed. On top of that, Sentrics’ integrated electronic whiteboard eliminates the task of keeping traditional, wall-mounted whiteboards updated.

Phelps Hospital, a Northwell Health facility in New York, converted its paper menus to interactive ones using Sentrics’ E3. The hospital saves 8,700 staff hours annually and has contributed to Phelps’ HCAHPS rating 14 percent higher than previous benchmarks.

Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in California integrated Sentrics’ E3 with the hospital’s ADT system to automate the bed turn process. The result was a 30-minute reduction in bed wait time.



Sentrics’ E3 streamlines the nurse’s critical – but often time-consuming – job of patient education.  With it, a nurse can assign a patient videos specific to their diagnosis or care. They can see when the patient has viewed them as that action is written back into the electronic medical record. That means no jumping between technology platforms or multiple logins to remember. Patient education is integrated into the platform the nurse uses throughout a shift, streamlining compliance documentation and education administrative work. The nurse can then use rounding time more effectively to answer patient questions and reinforce their education.


Patients using Sentrics’ E3 can provide the hospital with immediate, real-time feedback through simple interactive surveys. Some Sentrics client hospitals use a daily check-in survey to gauge patient satisfaction continually. This helps the hospital to identify any potential patient issues and resolve them quickly.

Want to communicate across the hospital campus quickly? Perhaps you want to promote an upcoming event, announce an immediate change to visitation policies, or issue a weather alert. With E3, those messages can be pushed out hospital-wide in a matter of minutes with little staff effort. When faced with a severe Influenza outbreak, for example, one California hospital used Sentrics’ E3 solution to communicate its temporary visitation restrictions at two of its campuses. Many use it to encourage patients to give real-time feedback on the care they are receiving – feedback that can be acted upon immediately if needed.


E3 makes it easy to empower patients to take an active role in their healthcare. This is one IT deployment that doesn’t require a disruption to the patient room. Sentrics’ E3 solution doesn’t require a lengthy implementation, much equipment, or a costly commitment of the hospital’s staff.

Within hours, the patient room can be transformed into an interactive smart room, putting health information and other resources at the patient’s fingertips. Northern Westchester Hospital in New York recognized the power of a human-centered approach like Sentrics as far back as 2012. That’s when the 245-bed hospital rolled out its first entertainment and education solution co-developed with Sentrics, offering patients access to hospital information, education, entertainment and relaxation content. Through it, patients can access lab and radiology reports; medication, nutrition, and dietary information, and discharge instructions; ambient noise reduction videos and soundtracks to reduce noise interruption and help manage pain; and TV, Internet, movies and games for entertainment during their stay.

Since then, patient ratings for room quietness jumped 15 percent and for staff responsiveness by 12 percent. Medication communication ratings gained 11 percent. Nurse communication scores improved by 8 percent, while discharge planning scores improved by 6 percent. Patients gave the hospital a rating 9 percent higher in 2017 than in 2012, before the E3 solution was implemented.

At Sentrics, we believe that improving the human-hospital experience doesn’t have to be hard. Sentrics’ E3 delivers a human-centered approach that combines the best of interactive patient engagement technology with an unwavering commitment to ease of use that both patients and nurses will appreciate.

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