Introducing Our Intelligent Ward

As the world’s technology enters the digital age, everything around us now seems to have gone digital. Whether news, data, work or even medical care, everything we do is now connected to a high-speed network. This means communications are now easier to navigate, easier to access and easier to use.  

With the launch of its Intelligent Ward (or Digital Ward), Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital is piloting the use of such digital technology. The Intelligent Ward is comprised of 24 rooms, all of which are connected to a single Wi-Fi network, which increases comfort and convenience for service users, doctors, nurses and other members of staff.

Comfort and convenience for patients and service users

When patients come to stay at the Intelligent Ward, they will each be given an iPod Touch and an instruction manual. A member of staff will give each patient a login password and then explain the Intelligent Ward system in detail. After this short introduction, the patient can use the iPod Touch to control various features in the room without having to get out of bed.

The light system in each room is divided into zones – such as the Entrance, Living Zone and Bed Zone – and from the comfort of their bed, patients can use the iPod Touch as a remote control to alter the lighting in each zone. Likewise, the curtain system can be accessed via the curtain menu. Patients can control them manually or choose one of the curtain’s two set modes: ‘Morning Scene’ or ‘Night Scene’, which programs the curtains to respond to changes in the light system. If patients choose Morning Scene, the lights will switch on in unison with the curtains opening so that the room gets more natural light. If patients choose Night Scene, the curtains will close when the lights are turned off, so that the patient can rest peacefully and effortlessly. There is also a table light, which can be left on so that the patient can still see without the room being too bright for sleeping. The air conditioning (A/C) system can be adjusted to increase or decrease the temperature of the room or the strength of the fan, just like using an A/C remote. Also, if patients requires the nurse’s assistance, they can press the ‘Nurse Call’ button from any page of the menu, without having to return to the Home screen.

Additionally, patients can use the computer and the internet by using the Swing Arm, whose level can be raised or lowered as the patient prefers, without having to get out of bed.

Equipment and other facilities for the safety and convenience of patients, doctors and nurses

Outside of each room, there is a monitor that displays patient information, such as the kind of food the patient eats, special dietary requirements, medications the patient is taking, and any other special precautions. The monitor does not display the patient’s name, however, to ensure that the patient’s right to privacy and safety is always protected. Any visitor who wishes to enter the patient’s room will need to have a key card. The hospital will issue two key cards to the patient’s relatives, and one key card to the nurse responsible for that patient’s care. The nurse will be able to enter the patient room at any time.

Inside the room, there will be another monitor at the headboard of the bed displaying patient information. Unlike the monitor outside the room, however, the monitor inside the room will show more detailed patient information, such as the patient’s name, surname and date of birth. There will also be a ‘Diagnose’ light that the examining doctor can use in diagnosing the patient’s condition when all lights in room are switched off.

The Paramount Bed can set up a warning system for patients who are at risk of falling or stumbling, and the system can be programmed to issue varying degrees of warning signal. For example, if the patient has been out of bed for over 30 minutes and not returned, a warning signal will be sent to the hospital counter, and a nurse will come to the patient’s room immediately to check on the patient’s condition. If the patient gets out of bed, a Level 2 warning is sent. If the patient is sitting on the bed, then a Level 3 warning is set. If the patient rolls over in bed, then a Level 4 warning is set. These settings can be changed, however, depending on the risk level of each patient.  

The Quick View Computer is specially designed for when the doctor comes to examine the patient. The doctor can explain the results of a CT Scan, X-ray or lab tests, and can talk with the patient beside his or her bed immediately, without having to wait for a nurse to bring the results to the room, and without having to walk to another room to look at the results beforehand. After the consultation and diagnosis is complete, the doctor can then prescribe medication or order additional treatment immediately simply by typing in the patient’s name or password.  

A program linked to a wearable Wristband is used to measure blood pressure and temperature. Each time the Wristband takes a measurement, the results will be entered into the system immediately, so that no matter which ward or counter the doctor is on, or what time it is, the doctors can always see the patient’s blood pressure and see whether or not the patient has a fever.  

At the hospital counter, there is a Room Automation system. Based on a Floor Plan of the whole ward, the nurse can see at all times whether each patient room is occupied, how many lights are switched on in the room, what the temperature is, and whether the room is too hot. The system is set up to limit the temperature in each room to no more than 35 degrees. If the temperature passes a set limit, then a blinking light will appear on the nurse’s monitor. For the comfort and safety of the patient, the nurse will then request permission to enter the room and check whether the patient actually requires the room temperature to be higher, or whether he or she has pressed the button by mistake.    

If the patient would prefer not to or is unable to control the equipment in his or her room – whether switching the light on and off or opening the curtains – then the patient can inform the nurse. The nurse can then adjust the settings in the patient’s room from the counter, without having to enter the room and disturb the patient.  

Additionally, the Room Automation system is connected with an iPad in the nurses hands, so no matter where the nurse or carer goes, they can check their iPad and still give instructions to the patient and carry out checks whenever necessary, without having to wait to return to the nurse counter first.  

We’re proud to offer our new efficient medical communication system, leading the way in the use of technology for patient comfort and care. Further developments are on the way as we continue to take Thai medical care forward into the digital age.

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