Hospitals call them surgical waiting rooms, but a better name is worry room.
Relatives anxious about a loved one's progress during and after a surgical procedure at 290-bed Bergan Mercy Medical Center in Omaha, Neb., are given pagers so they can be summoned when a doctor has an update. Family members with relatives in surgery are often anxious as they wait for any bit of information.
Methodist Hospital is joining the growing number of Omaha hospitals that provide family and friends with real-time electronic updates.
Soon, five screens similar to those that provide gate information at airports will be installed in waiting rooms and the cafeteria at 335-bed Methodist to provide updates.
Each patient will be assigned an identification code, which will be given to family members. The screens will let relatives know when the patient is prepped for surgery, enters the operating room, enters the recovery room, returns to the hospital room or is ready to go home.
Hospitals nationally are adding the electronic updates as part of a trend toward a consumer approach to medical care, said Elizabeth Lietz, spokeswoman for the American Hospital Association.
Patients are increasingly expecting hospitals to provide more convenience and better information, whether it's the online pricing of medical services or rankings on the quality of care, she said.
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