Patient Experience

Healthcare technology design starts with one question

Andy Anderson By Andy Anderson
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December 11, 2019

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When developing new healthcare technology, we consider more than data and code and integration. The first question I ask with our incredibly talented team of product engineers and technicians is: If we were the patient, what would we want?

Every upgrade, every enhancement, every new product we work on at SONIFI Health starts with the patient in mind.

Here are three patient needs that your in-room technology should address:

1. Patients want to know what’s going on.

In the hospital, patients have little to no control about what’s happening to them and around them. Not being informed1 every step of their stay can lead to anxiety, fear or even panic.

Technology can help this by:

  • Integrating with your EHR system to display relevant information to patients at all times
  • Providing on-demand educational materials to answer patient’s questions about procedures, conditions or medications
  • Giving care teams an easy reference to relay information in real time


2. Patients want to talk to their care team.

Checking vitals and meds, following up on stats, updating the EHR…there’s a lot that the bedside team needs to do with each visit to a patient’s room.

With everything they’re tasked with doing, it sometimes doesn’t leave time for them to give the patient the opportunity to ask additional questions or just get some personal reassurance2 about their situation.

Technology can help this by:

  • Having fully integrated systems3 to automatically update information at all end points so staff doesn’t have to spend time manually updating information in multiple places
  • Displaying some of the patient’s personal preferences—like name and language—to remind staff to personalize their communications with patients
  • Automating additional education assignments for patients to watch at their leisure, so the care team can have more meaningful conversations with patients and their families

3. Patients want to try to relax and make time go faster.

Nobody wants to be a patient in the hospital. Everybody just wants to go home as soon as possible, and to not spend every moment worrying4 about what might be wrong or go wrong.

Technology can help this by:

  • Offering multiple quality entertainment and distraction options in patient rooms
  • Staying in tune with consumer trends and adapting in-room technology to match the patient’s expectations of convenience and usability
  • Making entertainment and content accessible and appealing to patients of all ages, cultures and backgrounds


There’s a lot of factors to consider when choosing and building healthcare technology, especially when patient-centered care is a top priority.

When the technology helps align patient needs with care team tasks, the in-room experience can feel much calmer and more personalized.

But healthcare practices, technology and preferences are always changing — so it’s important for in-room technology to be able to adapt and evolve, too.

At SONIFI Health, we look at usage data of in-room systems, and get feedback about how we can make the in-room experience even better for patients and care teams. We keep in contact with hospital leaders to make sure our technology is getting them the right measurable outcomes to help them reach their quality, safety and patient experience goals.

And personally, we’re also tech geeks — we know what trends are out there, and how we can incorporate the best ideas5 into patient rooms.

Product development is multifaceted and takes a team with many perspectives. But the one thing we all have in common is asking: What would I want as a patient?

So: What do your patients want?

  1. Haldar, S., Filipkowski, A., Mishra, S. R., Brown, C. S., Elera, R. G., Pollack, A. H., & Pratt, W. (2017). “Scared to go to the hospital”: Inpatient experiences with undesirable events. AMIA … Annual Symposium proceedings. AMIA Symposium, 2016, 609–617.
  2. Gustafson, C. (2019, April 29). 7 ways to provide excellent patient care to an anxious patient. Retrieved from
  3. Storm, B. (2019, January 3). Interoperability of EHR integrations key to changing patient experience. Retrieved from Healthcare Facilities Today:–20329
  4. Rose Gould, W. (2017, August 25). The real reason that going to the doctor gives you anxiety. Retrieved from NBC News:
  5. Ghafur, S., Schneider, E. (2019, June 5). Engaging patients using digital technology — Learning from other industries. Retrieved from Catalyst:

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