Dijklander Ziekenhuis: Transforming the patient experience with iPads

As spring arrives, Dijklander Ziekenhuis patients witness the beauty of Hoorn, a 660-year-old city that lies 35 kilometers north of Amsterdam along the clear waters of Markermeer. Sightlines from the hospital provide a unique view to the Hoorn-Medemblik heritage railway and spark conversation among visitors. Unlike the view of the historic city outside, it’s the hospital’s modern feel and technological advancements inside that provide patients comfort.

Two hospitals with 27 medical specialties.
Utilizes Jamf Pro to manage 700 iPads across two locations
Higher reported patient experience, mainly attributed to the iPad program.


In 2010 the Dijklander Ziekenhuis began its journey that transformed how patients consume media for entertainment, interact with their care team and stay connected with loved ones during their hospital stay. It all started with an iPad.

In 2012, Nils van Mourik, former Director of Facility Services, kicked off an iPad program with a 60-bed pilot in two departments: Oncology and Gastroenterology/Hepatology. “I thought if we started with the hardest part of the hospital, it would be easy to implement it in other departments.” The two-month pilot was a success, and by the end of March 2014, the program rolled out to the rest of the hospital. Currently, Dijklander Ziekenhuis has iPads available for 700 patients at the BeagleBoxx bedside and at least two devices in each department lobby for visitor use. Following the success of iPads in Hoorn, the bedside iPad program was rolled out to a second hospital in Purmerend in November of 2020.


Each hospital room has an iPad. New patients receive a code that unlocks it from a secure case and enables its immediate use. The home screen of each device includes a single app, BeagleBoxx app. This opens to a vast assortment of options for the user, including TV, music, games, news and more. The devices also contain patient education and hospital services content that is customized for each department. And with management through Jamf Pro the iPads are easily updated and always contain the materials most pertinent to patients.

When Thea came to Dijklander Ziekenhuis for a knee replacement, she was thrilled to receive her device. “Others should give this service as well, because it’s so helpful,” she said. Thea used the iPad every day - mostly for card games and the news, but also for researching information on knee replacements. She said this led to more informed conversations with her doctor. Thea smiled as she talked about the iPad, stating, “If I was alone or with not-so-nice roommates, I would have used it even more.”

Staff weren’t enthusiastic when the program began. They didn’t think it would benefit older users like Thea. But happy, well-informed patients changed their mind. Nurse Judith Buisman has worked in Geriatrics where she said the iPads help the older population of patients feel at ease. She recalled one man who came in confused. “After discovering he liked birds,” she said, “the nurse went to YouTube and looked up bird sounds. She played the sounds and the patient became relaxed and calm.” “The music helps the conversation come easily.” And with that help, she’s able to deliver better care.

Beyond the common uses of music, movies, games and news, the iPad can serve a more profound purpose. Buisman shared an emotional story of a man who was dying while his family scrambled to make the journey from their home in Australia. Not sure they’d arrive in time, they used the iPad to say their final goodbye. “They used FaceTime, and the patient had a conversation with his son,” Buisman recalled of the heartwarming interaction. “It was very good.”

Buisman said the iPads give all of her patients something special –freedom. “Before, we had a TV that was hanging from the ceiling, and now we have this,” she said, holding an iPad. “It’s much better for the patient. They’re more mobile.” Buisman added that the ability for each patient to utilize the iPad for their own purposes, versus the single option of a TV, has dramatically improved the hospital experience. “It allows them to do something different. This is a huge benefit.”

Utilizing Self Service, dozens of apps are available for users to select and download. This offers a variety of entertainment options for the patient. And having them on demand, instead of living on the iPad, saves device space and enables a speedy digital wipe. After a patient is discharged, the hospital’s cleaning service wipes down the device and initiates a command that requests a digital sterilization of the iPad – a process that erases any trace of the previous patient, including their downloaded apps. The process takes an average of three and a half minutes per device.


Approximately 70 percent of all Dijklander Ziekenhuis patients use the iPad devices. This percentage includes patients who aren’t able to utilize the technology because of severe illness. The departments with the highest iPad usage are Pediatrics, Dialysis and Oncology.

Patients can complete patient satisfaction surveys on their iPads, evaluating the hospital’s entertainment options and the iPad experience. Prior to offering iPad devices, Dijklander Ziekenhuis consistently received a six (on a 1-10 scale) for Entertainment and Information. Since the iPad program began, this score is now at an eight, along with the survey evaluating the iPad service quality.

I think it’s really wonderful to have an MDM. Now it’s much easier to deploy the apps the patients need. Because of its capabilities, patients don’t experience much hassle with the iPad anymore.
Nils van Mourik Former Director of Facility Services, Dijklander Ziekenhuis


Behind the hospital’s iPad program is the solution that makes it possible. BeagleBoxx is a patient focused proposition from Brightfish, a mobility solutions company that partners with Dijklander Ziekenhuis to enhance the patient experience through technology and utilizes Jamf Pro to manage the hospital’s iPad devices. But this wasn’t always the case. Recalling the days before Jamf, Rob Kolles, Operations Coordinator at BeagleBoxx, said, “I still have nightmares from that period. I had to wipe every iPad by hand – every single one of them.” He said Jamf changed everything. “The MDM made all the difference.”

Rob Kolles and his colleague, Peter Sommer, Chief Commercial Officer at Brightfish, see great potential for how their partnership with Jamf can foster even more possibilities for the iPad program. “Jamf is very stable, which makes the process of managing the iPads and the continuous flow of updates of iOS and apps manageable for us within the time and budget restrains we have set,” Sommer said. “Jamf is a great company to work and partner with, and we feel that we get great support on our quest to have the absolute best patient experience with iPads in hospitals.”

The implementation of the new Dijklander App makes it easier for patients to find information, watch TV, play games and listen to Waterland radio, the hospital's own broadcasting station, via the iPad. It also provides a layer of security against theft. Once an iPad is outside the hospital, an alarm is sent and the iPad is disabled remotely.

Dijklander Ziekenhuis has come a long way, and with their recent focus on security and growth, it doesn't stop here.

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