Health IT

How can pediatric hospitals empower patients? Show them who they’re dealing with.

MyPassportOne of the categories in Boston Children’s Hospital‘s innovation challenge involves coming up with disruptive ways to empowering patients. It’s not an area one frequently associates with patients at pediatric hospitals, but Erik Halvorsen, the executive director of the Technology and Innovation Development program there thinks it should be.

“I think it’s a great category. It’s not something you hear about very often.”

He adds that the category reflects a few different things that are happening in healthcare. Parents have the ability to try to be more informed about their children’s condition. There’s also a lot more information being generated by patients that can be organized and made available for parents. But there’s also a need to organize that information. With the rise of accountable care organizations, hospitals have increased responsibility for care before and after patients leave. There’s a need for ways to improve two way communication.

One approach it’s taken to improve communication between parents, hospital staff and pediatric patients is a portal it has developed called MyPassport. It functions as an app and computer based portal. One goal is to improve patient (and parent) satisfaction. It shows parents pictures of the clinical team treating their children with a short bio and is updated every day. It provides information about the child’s condition, lab results, a care plan to give an overview for parents to give them expectations for recovery goals. It also includes nurses’ notes and a discharge plan. It also provides a map to help users find their way around the hospital.


“This information is already in the system but we’re allowing patients and parents to see information they’ve never seen before.”

So far, it’s been piloted successfully in two clinical areas. Now Halvorsen says the hospital is in talks with small and medium sized companies interested in investing and commercializing the technology.


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