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Saudi Arabia Transform Their Hospitals to Modernize Patient Medical Experience


By Pei-jun Liao with images provided by Advantech 

Interview with Muiayed Kuo, Advantech’s intelligent medical business manager


The largest private medical group in Saudi Arabia has been actively transforming and modernizing itself in recent years. It has introduced the Advantech HIT bedside terminal devices in each ward to connect doctors, nursing staff, hospitalized patients and their accompanying family members on the same communication platform in hopes to improve quality and efficiency of medical services and a better overall experience.

When it comes to hospitals, the first impression of most patients is that it is very dreary, confined, and the food is often less than stellar. However, Ken Ahmed has had a completely different experience. In his recent hospital visit, Ken was surprised to find out on the first day that there was a mobile touch screen on the side of the bed. When he wanted to know the details of the operation and/or the guidelines for a hospital stay, he simply interacted with the screen. When he felt bored, he could simply turn on the screen to choose a TV or movie program to watch. When he wanted to contact a nurse on duty, he could click on the button on the screen to begin communications, thus reducing a lot of his tension and anxiety during hospitalization.

Muiayed Kuo, Advantech’s intelligent medical business manager, pointed out that unlike other medical institutes that have made introductions on a smallscale, experimental nature, this hospital decided from the very beginning to introduce the Advantech HIT bedside terminal device to each and every single ward, showing its strong determination to modernize its medical services. Currently, the Advantech HIT bedside terminal devices have been or are being introduced into the 4 hospital districts among the 9 hospital chains of the medical group.

As Advantech has designed systems in both Europe and the United States, it can give out quite a few reference cases that encompass complete solutions down to small peripherals and brackets which not only meets the medical standard EN60601 certification but can be customized to satisfy all the needs of the user. Everything from the adjustment in the bracket (or arm) design to the print of a hospital name on the screen logo can be built accordingly by the client’s request, making Advantech solutions an easy option.

Integrate HIS system to improve medical efficiency

Through the Advantech HIT bedside terminal devices, the medical group has solved many of the medical care problems often encountered in the past. For instance, in the past, the doctor would take a tablet computer to the ward to explain the surgical procedure and remind the pre- and post-operative precautions. Sometimes, the doctor would even explain orally without a tablet, but it was not easy for the patient and his or her accompanying family members to understand the doctor’s explanation and to read the detailed information on the mobile screen. Now, the doctors can directly explain everything on the larger screen through the bedside terminal devices and the integrated medical information system. The patients can now understand and visibly follow along clearly in the first engagement.

In addition, the Advantech HIT bedside terminal devices can also provide more information about hospitalization. The hospital environment/map, directory and educational resources can now be viewed at the patient’s own convenience. The patient has more freedom of comfort by operating these devices which are now at his or her bed and to choose the information or media he or she chooses to watch during their stay.

Muiayed Kuo said that in the past, such information had to be explained verbally by the nursing staff or printed out and sorted into a thick folder and placed in the ward for patients to consult. However, no matter whether the information was presented in a spoken or written way, the film presentation was always the best option. In addition, video can relieve the patients from the worry of not being able to remember the contents, because they can always go back to open the bedside terminal device and watch the video again at any time.

Virtualization of the nurse bell makes it possible for the patients to click and talk to the nurse to solve his or her problems  

The HIT bedside terminal device also has a builtin call function, which can be synchronized with the nursing station. In the past, only one Nurse Call button was set up in the ward and might cause some troubles to the patients. For example, after the patient completed a drip injection and needed someone to help turn his or her body over or go to the restroom, he or she could only press the bell to call the nurse but could not explain right away what the needs were. The patient could do nothing but wait until the nursing staff arrived at the ward. To make things worse, the nursing staff might not necessarily come over immediately. If the patient waited for too long, he or she would inevitably become anxious. 

Now, through the HIT bedside terminal devices, the patient can call the nursing staff and directly say and explain what assistance he or she needs, so that the nursing staff can prepare in advance. It is obvious that the devices not only improve the efficiency of the nursing staff, but also helps the patient to reduce his or her anxiety in waiting for the nurse.

Currently, the HIT bedside terminal devices provide not only medical care information but also networking and multimedia functions, enabling the patients to watch TV or movies, log on to social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram, and use Skype and other messaging applications and access customized services, such as: selection of a meal, so that the patients can have a better hospital experience.

Muiayed Kuo revealed that after the adoption of the Advantech solutions, the medical group has not only reduced the working time for nursing staff and improved the quality of medical services, but has also increased the source of revenue (that is, provision of various paid services through the bedside terminal devices). In the future, the medical group will not only expand the application scope to the remaining five hospitals, but also plans to introduce the WISE-PaaS platform’s Command Center application and integrate on the same platform for analysis the information that can be seen through many sets of software. For example, patient waiting time, operating room usage rate, etc. It is hoped to create a virtual Command Center through the integration of HIS and WISE-PaaS platforms, so as to further improve hospital management efficiency and reduce costs.