St. Luke’s shares information with new parents via iPadsSince last month, St. Luke's has been making iPads available to all the patients in its birthing center as a convenient way to share educational information with new parents. The iPads replace TVs and VCRs.
By: John Lundy , Duluth News Tribune
When James and Suz Hoppe had their first child at St. Luke’s hospital 22 months ago, the way educational materials were presented was old-school and inconvenient.
“A big TV. The VCR. The VHS tapes. The cart,” James Hoppe said, recalling Addison’s birth in 2011. “And so when you’ve got parents, grandparents, little sister, friends of the family coming through, it’s one more thing to work around.”
On Friday, all of that — big TV, VCR, VHS tapes and cart — were contained in the iPad snuggled next to 2-day-old Emma Louise Hoppe on Suz Hoppe’s bed in the St. Luke’s birthing center.
Beginning last month, the hospital has been making the devices available to all the patients in its birthing center. The 10 iPads are programmed with videos essential to new parents, such as what to expect when you go home and how to install a car seat.
Specially programmed iPads are expected to be available throughout St. Luke’s by the end of the year, said Clark Averill, the hospital’s director of information technology. Provided at no cost to patients, the iPads and educational programming are being paid for by a $100,000 grant from the
St. Luke’s Foundation.
The idea came out of brainstorming sessions involving information technology and the foundation, Averill said. He wasn’t aware of any other
hospitals using iPads in the same way, but it seemed to be the best approach for St. Luke’s, he said.
When the rollout is complete, the hospital will have more than 200 iPads for patient use, programmed for everything from new parents to
orthopedic patients, said Catherine Carter Huber, executive director of the St. Luke’s Foundation.
The birthing center was a natural place to start, Averill said, because the patients are relatively young and therefore likely to be tech-savvy. They’re also likely to have family around who might enjoy the available entertainment, such as movies on Netflix. And they can share the event with family and friends in other places via Skype.
The Hoppes, who live in Rice Lake Township, said they appreciate the convenience of the specially programmed iPad as well as the quality of the programming.
“It’s much more simple, and the videos are way more updated,” Suz Hoppe said.
Even though they’ve been through this before, the Hoppes said they appreciated the refresher course.
The iPads come with one more feature designed to protect the foundation’s investment. Each comes with a security tag that will let the hospital’s IT department know if it leaves the building, Averill said.
He said he expects to start expanding the iPad program to other St. Luke’s units in May.