Modernizing patient engagement at Emma Children’s Hospital

With 153 years of experience serving Amsterdam’s youngest population, Emma Children’s Hospital, a part of the Amsterdam University Medical Center (UMC), continues to strive for medical excellence. Fifteen years ago, a strong focus on their philosophy that every child deserves the best possible care, no matter their illness, started Emma Children’s down a path of transformations. Though the project began with extensive building renovations, it led to an initiative that focuses on a modern way to enhance the overall hospital experience. It meets patients where they’re most comfortable - with Apple technology.

Emma Children’s has served Amsterdam’s youngest patients for 153 years.
Using Jamf, Sentean maps devices to specific rooms and patients.
Sentean uses Jamf Pro to manage iPads in the teenagers ward.
iPads provide a variety of customized entertainment options for patients.
Care teams receive fewer calls and have more time for front-line care.
Emma Children’s looks forward to expanding their iPad offering soon.

Providing the technology patients prefer

Bringing Apple to the bedside

“The patient has to be able to access the functionality,” said Marijntje Wetzels, MSc, business director, Emma Children’s Hospital. To test their theory, Wetzels said they included an iPad at each bedside in the teenagers ward, with plans for future expansion across other areas of the hospital.

Prior to this switch, Wetzels said a wall-mounted monitor served as the room’s primary form of entertainment. Limiting in both its functionality and form, the devices were quickly outdated and required newer models almost every year. Wetzels hopes to save both time and money with their iPad replacements. But even more important, she explained, is the ability to customize the devices for their diverse patient populations.

“Here at Emma Children’s, there’s been a lot of research on the different type of patients, different type of children and what is important for them. What you find is that children in a younger age have different information needs, as well as a different way of grasping information,” Wetzels said. “So when we started to do this, it was in an early stage that people suggested personalizing the environment and having a plug-and-play solution.”

Customizing content for patients

Creating a truly unique experience on the iPad for each group of patients is easier said than done. That’s why Emma Children’s enlisted the help of patient engagement experts and Jamf Certified Managed Service Provider (MSP), Sentean. “It’s really helpful when you have partners who know what they are doing and know not only about technology, but also other aspects of what we’re trying to accomplish,” Wetzels said. “And I feel that Sentean listens carefully.”

In the teenagers ward, each patient has access to an iPad that’s loaded with pre-populated content - all specifically selected for their age group and illness. Starting with a home screen that mirrors the hospital’s branding, the patient can find an assortment of 20- 30 entertainment apps, including Facebook and YouTube, that will help them feel more comfortable during their stay.

“We really integrated our system. It directly tells Jamf Pro, ‘This iPad needs to be configured to this person with these apps.’ It will then automatically move along with our system seamlessly together,” said Jurjen Eisink, Technical Director, Sentean. “It was pretty straight forward to integrate. Jamf has a good API and good documentation. From there, it’s just finding the correct methods and workflow. Then it just works.”

Treating the whole person

While entertainment is a large focus of the implementation at Emma Children’s, Wetzels said the iPad devices provide more than first meets the eye. She explained that while doctors want to treat their patients’ illnesses, they also look for more impactful ways to treat the whole person.

Technology that facilitates communication between patients, their families and their care teams is a powerful healing tool. Powered by Jamf, Sentean’s solution on an iPad enables this type of information exchange. “We have functionalities in our application that create a relationship and communication between the patient and staff,” said George Frey, commercial director, Sentean. “That makes the staff more receptive to what the patient needs.”

Wetzels agreed, saying having apps where, for example, nurses can take notes and a patient’s family can access them at home, provides peace of mind for families while generating consistent communication between the patient and their care teams. Roland Kramer, head nurse of the teenagers ward, agreed. He said the devices provide powerful health benefits for patients.

“When you’re bored in the hospital, it takes a long time for the time to pass,” he said. “When you’re having fun and are distracted from illness and your pain, you recover faster.” Kramer said the iPad devices also provide unexpected time-saving benefits. “They make my job easier,” he said. “Because when the patient is not bored, they’re not trying to get in contact with the team.” This extra time means Kramer’s staff can focus on what matters most - helping the patient heal.

Managing a successful implementation

Frey said such feedback is what continues to propel his goal to provide a solution that helps patients have a better hospital experience without added work for care teams. “This is something we do together with Jamf,” he said. “Jamf Pro and Sentean make sure this is all happening with minimal involvement from the staff. That is one of our key strengths together.”

Wetzels and Kramer said they look forward to adding more functionalities and use cases to the iPad devices over time. And, together with Jamf, Sentean will continue to provide the customization needed to provide every patient with a better hospital experience. “It is very gratifying to see, especially in the environment of children, how technology really transforms their experience. And we are seeing from the feedback that children feel strongly about having an iPad at the bedside with relevant content and relevant applications,” Frey said. “This is the kind of success that we try to exceed when working with hospitals like Emma.”

We have been in this business for a long time. While it’s easy to create an App, it’s a challenge controlling all of the devices and keeping them operational without getting staff involved. The added value of Jamf is taking part of the whole deployment to the whole management of the devices — keeping them working. It’s really doing a good job.
Jurjen Eisink Technical Director, Sentean

See how you too can achieve Apple success by taking Jamf for a free test drive. Request a Trial.