My Hospital Story - a Hospital Narrative App
Objectives: The My Hospital Storyapp is a digital version of hospital narratives designed to improve the patient and family experience by preparing and supporting children and families when they come into the hospital. The goals of the app include lowering patient and parent anxiety about the hospital setting, increasing patient coping with visits and procedures through prior preparation, and removing barriers to care.
Methods: Before their visit to the hospital, children and caregivers can use the app to view step-by-step photos of their upcoming clinic visit, surgery, or procedure. Each photo is accompanied by text illustrating what is happening from the child’s perspective as well as the hospital environment. The app allows users to enter their child’s name and gender so that pictures and text are personalized.
Results: At this time we have 13 stories available on the app spanning 6 departments (Developmental Medicine, Psychiatry, Neurology, Surgery, Audiology, and Phlebotomy) in our hospital. Currently, the app is being used in a pilot study to help prepare families for audiology visits.
Conclusions: This project has been a collaborative effort between the Autism Spectrum Center, Child Life Services, and the Innovation and Digital Health Accelerator at Boston Children’s Hospital. The mobile app has several advantages over paper versions. It is accessible at all times, it is easily edited and updated, and lastly it provides an attractive interface to share and communicate these hospital narratives to children. Future versions hope to include additional features, such as automated audio readings of the text, translation into multiple languages, and the ability to customize stories with personal photos.