Medical jargon can be confusing enough for adults, but for kids it can seem like a foreign language. That's why an entrepreneurial mother has created a map to help pediatric patients navigate their path to wellness.
Christina Connors of Milton, Del., came up with Get Well Maps to help parents and providers better communicate to children the progress they're making toward leaving the hospital. The colorful maps include a sticker that is moved down the road until the patient is able to go home.
Connors, an occupational therapist, got the idea for the product after her son was hospitalized two years ago with bilateral pneumonia and H1N1 influenza and put on a ventilator. She realized a visual aid could relieve stress and help children better understand their situation. “The medical jargon becomes so overwhelming for children,” she said.
The maps are available in four themes: princess, superhero, race car and Wild West. When a young patient encounters a setback, each map contains a neutral zone, such as a “pit stop” or “castle,” to keep things positive instead of moving backward on the road. When the patient is able to go home, providers are encouraged to autograph the back of the map so patients can keep it as a reminder of their accomplishments.
The maps are available online for $19.95, but Connors envisions selling them in bulk to hospitals because most parents won't anticipate needing them. They are used at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del., and are being tried out at the Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network in Allentown, Pa., Connors said. Hospitals have been buying them in bulk at a 30% to 40% discount, she said.
Connors recently raised $6,297 on crowdfunding site Kickstarter to further the business.