Better ideas. Better outcomes.

Impact Statement 2017

EMU Educational Video You Had Me at Hello

“We want you to feel comfortable, safe and well informed.”

Have you ever been nervous about going to the hospital for a procedure? We all feel anxious facing the unknown.

Smiling animated figures appear on the screen. Among them are a neurologist, an EEG technologist and a registered nurse, each explaining their role in caring for the patient admitted to the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit at Spectrum Health.

“Hello! So your doctor referred you to the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit? That’s great!” begins the narrator. “We want you to feel comfortable, safe and well informed.”

One at a time, the care team members tell the story of what to expect at every step of the patient experience. The patient appears as a rosy-cheeked pink brain wearing, of course, a hospital gown. The video is about five minutes long.

“Right now, patients receive a paper packet prior to admission to the EMU,” says Kris Emery, BSN, RN, clinical innovation nurse, Spectrum Health Innovations. “Most of them will never read it. We needed a more interesting way to get their questions answered.” A team of Spectrum Health staff members met to share ideas: Ayman Haykal, MD, epileptologist, medical director, EMU; Brian Hindsley, director, neurodiagnostics; Angie Frye, BSN, RN, CNRN, nurse manager, neurosciences; Jean Wysocki, BSN, RN, CNRN, nurse educator; Pamela Parker, R. EEG T, supervisor, neurodiagnostics; and Brian Galdis, BS, R. EEG T, CLTM, lead EEG technologist, neurodiagnostics. Their winning idea was to create a short educational video that could keep the interest of the viewer while being informative about the EMU.

“The video format is more easily absorbed,” says Galdis. “Most medical videos look the same, done in interview style, so we wanted to break away from that and ‘gamify’ it a bit. Animation is new and different, and we wanted the three main providers—physicians, EEG technologists and nurses—to talk to the viewer in a welcoming and engaging manner.”

Emery brought the idea to digital media students at Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University. Ashley Kalin was one of the students who took on the project to create the video. Taking into consideration the varied perspectives of EMU experts, patient education, the Patient and Family Advisory Council and Spectrum Health branding experts, Kalin created several iterations of a video.

“It was an incredible experience,” Kalin says. “I’ve learned what it takes to start with nothing but a script and turn such an important topic into something visually compelling and informative.”

The group gathered to view the video drafts, discussing the characters in every detail, down to their hair color, and the information provided to the patient—length of stay, how electrodes will be used and medical goals during and after the stay in the EMU. Prior to admission, a health care team member will view the video again with the patient, answering any remaining questions and concerns.

Now, patients won’t fear the unknown because they can watch the video prior to arrival.

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  • “I’m excited for this video to be viewed by patients and doctors throughout Spectrum Health and, most importantly, to help patients feel more at ease, knowing that they are in good hands.”

    Ashley Kalin, digital media student, Kendall College of Art and Design
  • “It’s been an amazing collaboration, working with Spectrum Health Innovations. As clinicians, we like to think we are creative thinkers, but we can get boxed in with our thinking. With
    SHI’s help, we got many different perspectives on creating the video. It was a unique and interesting experience.”

    Brian Galdis, lead EEG technologist, Spectrum Health
Innovations Impact Report