Columbus, OH,
15:00 PM

OhioHealth Pickerington Methodist Hospital Opens with Innovative Smart Room Technology

OhioHealth Pickerington Methodist Hospital officially opened its doors to the public on Dec. 6. A long-awaited addition to the community, OhioHealth’s 15th hospital is pushing the boundaries of healthcare innovation.

Patient rooms are now equipped with a 65-inch smart TV and an interactive tablet that empowers patients with control over their hospital experience. 

“People are going to love this because it’s right here,” said Thelma McKittrick, Pickerington Methodist Hospital’s first-ever patient, about her bedside tablet. “It’s right here in front of our face, we can talk one-on-one. It’s great.” 

McKittrick, in her 60s, spent a few days using the new smart room technology while recuperating from surgery. With instructional videos and trained staff there to help, she found herself learning to navigate the equipment with ease.

“The first day and night it was ‘Okay, I’ve got to do this,’” said McKittrick. “But that was so easy. I can really pick and choose what I want.”

From ordering meals to watching educational videos and managing medication schedules, the intuitive technology aims to provide a more personalized hospital stay.

“I love that new feature where you can order your own breakfast, lunch and dinner,” said McKittrick. “And then I like the educational library because there may be one of my conditions on there and I can learn more about it.”

The patient-centered approach allows individuals to explore the smart room technology at their own pace without any pressure.

“You can still have that same experience if you want," said Tom Gutman, OhioHealth Senior Consultant of Learning Simulation. "You can just pick it up, start using it, and then when you're comfortable, start learning more of the other processes."

The hospital has provided training on the smart room technology to nurses, patient services assistants, and environmental staff.

"We've equipped everyone with knowledge on how the technology works so that anytime anyone's in the room, they can offer help," said Erika Braun, OhioHealth Advisor of User Experience Strategy.

The addition of a camera above the TV allows patients to speak virtually with nurses, specialists or family members and radiofrequency tags on staff badges seamlessly display caregiver information on the screen to help patients easily identify and communicate with their healthcare team.

“[Patients] really like the convenience of talking your doctors, knowing when your pain medication is going to be due,” said Madysson Lindsey-Smith, RN, a nurse on McKittrick's care team. “That’s a big thing for people. Let’s say they got out of surgery and have chronic pain—that helps them a lot.”

Gutman and Braun’s team have spent almost two years bringing this technology to life. Their goal was to make patients’ experiences more personalized, not just through the technology but the staff as well.

When using traditional whiteboards in hospital rooms, nurses can spend hours manually updating patient information. The smart room technology automatically fills in information from a patient’s electronic medical record. Pickerington Methodist is giving nurses that time back at the bedside. 

“I’m able to sit down and talk to my patients more, as opposed to, I wouldn’t have the time to do that because I was checking off a list,” said Lindsey-Smith. “Now I can sit and talk to my patients.”

And the positive impact is evident to both staff and patients alike.

"I'm just thrilled that it's here for the community, and I'll tell you what, you can't ask for a better staff," McKittrick said. "They treated me like they've known me forever. I'm just not a gray-haired old woman with a number. They're important to me. This hospital's important to me."

To learn more about OhioHealth Pickerington Methodist Hospital, click here.