Relaxation programming is a really broad term that may include everything from DVDs produced for the consumer market to comprehensive solutions designed specifically for healthcare. Factors that influence pricing include:
- Is the content for sale or is it licensed? Purchased content may cost less but not serve as well over the long-term (too repetitive, dated quality). Licensed content may cost more, but is much more likely to serve effectively.
- How would you like the content to be delivered? Options are quite varied, including video on demand systems, dedicated television broadcast, integrative patient platforms, streaming to personal devices, or technology as old as individual DVD players.
- What is the size of your facility? Pricing for licensed content will depend on the number of televisions, licensed beds, or integrative platform seats. Pricing for purchased content will depend on your needs. How many DVDs you need, for example.
- Who are you serving and where? Do you need content throughout a hospital, in patient rooms, waiting areas, staff lounges, and lobbies? Or do you need content for a small physician’s office with just one or two screens?
- Is the content produced specifically for use in a clinical setting? Does the video include music? Or does it feature nature sounds, either ambient or artificial? Are the visuals and sounds appropriate for use in patient care? All of these factors can enter into the quality and price of the programming.
- What infrastructure do you already have in place for delivery? Do you have a VOD system or integrative patient platform? And do those systems serve all patients, or do they exclude areas such as PACU, ICU, CCU, lobbies, staff lounges and family waiting areas? If your preferred delivery is a dedicated channel in your TV lineup, there may be one-time equipment purchases or installation fees involved.
Speaking with a sales consultant who is knowledgeable about clinical settings and the needs of patients is the best way to assess your needs and determine pricing.
What’s marketed as patient relaxation programming is all over the map, but two obvious categories are the natural world and the manmade world.
- Nature programming may include still photography, nature video with natural sounds, nature video with guided imagery, and nature video with music. Subcategories can include “pure” nature programming (no manmade objects, no people) and nature programming that includes human artifacts.
- Relaxation programming featuring the manmade world ranges from videos of fish tanks (the fish are natural, but the tank sure isn’t!) to the sight and sounds of a log-burning fireplace; from the sight and sound of a fan meant to induce sleep, to world tours of famous landmarks and cities.
When choosing relaxation programming, keep in mind what you desire to achieve.
Do you need a solution that serves a diverse population (gender, age, ethnicity, level of acuity)? Do you need a solution that functions well for in-patient care (including the challenges of noise and sleep)?
If you’re in an outpatient setting, do you need a solution that holds up to repeated viewing (i.e. infusion centers)? Or are your patients only exposed to programming during their appointment wait time?
Answers to these kinds of questions will lead to greater clarity when doing comparison shopping.
It depends on what type of programming you choose, but yes!
There’s decades of research that show the health benefits of being exposed to nature and music respectively. Examples include lowered blood pressure, improved immune response, improved mental and emotional capacity for self-healing, reduced anxiety and less pain.
In general, positive distractions have been found to expedite recovery, decrease length of stay, and reduce the need for pharmaceuticals. And certain types of relaxation programming can also mitigate the effects of noise and promote sleep.
Relaxation programming can be delivered through televisions, interactive patient platforms, video on demand systems (VOD), and apps on computers or hand-held devices. And virtual reality is now entering the field of patient care (where appropriate), so you might be delivering an immersive nature experience through VR headsets.
How and where patients access it really depends on what you want to accomplish with relaxation programming.
What is the problem you want to solve? Do you want to reduce anxiety, promote rest and sleep, decrease pain, reduce readmissions, or something else? In which areas of your facility do you want to provide relaxation programming?
For example, if you just want to calm and relax patients and family members in waiting areas, you might only need a small device connected by HDMI to the television set. If you want to offer relaxation programming accessible 24-hours a day through televisions in patient rooms, it might require a stand-alone broadcaster and modulator.
Again, the best way to determine what you need is to consult with a qualified sales consultant about your overall objectives.
This depends on the type of facility and how and where the relaxation programming is being used. An acute or long-term care facility with inpatients or residents will require more non-repetitive content than an outpatient clinic or medical/dental office where the duration of the visit is shorter.
Why? Because if staff or patients/residents are exposed to repetitive limited content, two things can happen. Either no one will use it, or its effectiveness will diminish because it no longer truly engages the patient or resident.
For a positive distraction to work, it needs to be used and it needs to be engaging.