Kindling Ideas For The Future

Thanksgiving is a wonderful chance to think about all of things that allow us to be who we are and where we are.  Whether it is the family who support us, the workplaces that inspire us, the causes that we relate to, or the many other things that contribute to our daily adventures, Thanksgiving is a great time to think about and appreciate what some of those things are.  With that in mind, I find myself thinking every year about how I might be able to contribute back to each and every one of those things that has given something to me.  There isn’t always a clear path or physical nature with which this can be accomplished, but I find it important that I use these reflections as the foundation of my motivations and future actions. 

As a result, Thanksgiving becomes a wonderful chance to not only recognize and appreciate my current foundation but to innovate and think of new and different ways to connect with this foundation.  So, in the spirit of thinking towards the future and finding ways to build new connections within a foundation, I thought this week might be a great time to introduce one of our on-going projects—developing the room of the future (ROTF). 


The current ROTF prototype built in the Hub is complete with poster board walls, some very basic furniture, and a lot of post-it placeholders for things.  The room seeks to address the questions of how might we capture and act on the needs and desires of patients while they are in the hospital?  How might we bring greater dignity and self-determination to the patient experience at Sibley? 

One of the initial principles that we have come up with is the idea of having each wall having a specific end-user that it is designed for—one each for patients, visitors, caregivers, and for everyone.  For this post, I will share two of our favorite concepts that have arisen using this end-user wall focus. 

First is the information on the wall at the foot of a bed a.k.a. the "patient's wall".  On this wall, there could be a display that is purely patient controlled.  The display would be a place to put up and keep track of questions or notes, to see information about their care team members or whoever is entering their room, and to customize what someone will spend a lot of their time looking at.  Controlled through an iPad or possibly even their own smart phone, this display would truly aim to help patients keep track of their thoughts and desires, as well as empower them to control this part of their environment.

Second is the use of an Amazon Echo, or a similar cloud-based, voice controlled device.  With the Echo, one can immediately call up music or radio, hear the answers to certain basic questions, or communicate with other devices (like smart-home devices).  Anyone in the room could be able to control certain features of the room like lights or blinds or sounds, additionally it would create the potential for the integration of voice commands with certain information—perhaps a care team member could say “print information about drug X”, without needing to find the information on Epic or somewhere else.  There are a lot of exciting opportunities to build on and think of. 

There is more information about the Breast Cancer Project in weeks to come, we are still collecting feedback as well as starting to pull together our story for our own journey through this process.  

Please email to share your feedback, experiences, feelings, comments, or ideas about anything—I can't tell you how amazing it has been to hear the thoughts that people have shared and sent in, so keep them coming!  Also, send an email if you want to join our feedback team and are willing to be interviewed for our future projects!