Dayton Children's Hospital_Waiting AreaHealthLeaders has profiled Dayton Children’s Hospital‘s efforts to optimize the patient and family experience for a new generation. The article, titled “The Hospital Built to Enhance the Millennial Experience,” details how the hospital took a deep dive into the needs and behaviors of millennials — the generation of parents whose children are now treated there — and included a commitment to offer best-in-class technology as part of the up-front investment.

The full article can be read online, and key excerpts have been included below:

As health systems move toward more consumer-centric practices, children’s hospitals are the leading edge of serving millennials, a tech-savvy generation with different expectations than the age groups preceding it.

With a new patient tower opening last year, Dayton Children’s Hospital in Ohio, which serves more than 300,000 children a year in more than 50 specialties, presents a case study in designing a patient and family experience for this generation.

While its administrators acknowledge that many factors and processes influence patient satisfaction, the infrastructure now exists to optimize the patient experience.

“As a children’s hospital, our consumers are increasingly millennials,” says Kelly Kavanaugh, vice president of marketing and strategic planning at Dayton Children’s 178-bed inpatient facility. During the planning process for the new patient tower, “I compiled research about millennials and how they think about care, but more importantly, how they behave in the rest of their life, which really influences how they think about healthcare,” she says.

Among the most essential findings were a need for technology that enables real-time, two-way communication, and processes to instantly address needs and provide instant gratification.

Nikkia Whitaker, MSN, RN, CCRN, clinical technology integration manager, later joined the team, serving as the liaison between the IT department and end users. Rather than letting vendors drive the process, she further refined plans by asking patients and families what features and benefits were most appealing.

“There was a lot of involvement with our patient ambassadors and our family advisory board,” says Whitaker. “We asked what things were important to them, and then reached out to vendors and asked, ‘How can you make this happen?’

“In the end, Whitaker was responsible for launching a dozen new systems with interconnectivity between many of them.”

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