Empowering families through technology

Over the last few months, the team at Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network have been working on developing a new website for families and children called the Kids Care Companion.

The site is one way the Network is using technology to improve the patient and family experience.

The tool will offer customised information and educational content in a 'choose your own adventure' style, offering families the option of searching for resources, or following a journey tailored to their own circumstances. Animated characters guide you in preparing for some time in hospital, and also equip you with information to assist in caring for your child after you return home. For example, a patient might select: 'I am a child going to hospital for surgery' while another needs to know what will happen when: 'I have been discharged from hospital with a NG Tube' or 'I am the carer of an infant who's going to hospital for a test'.

"The applications aim to tailor a view of information to prepare families for their time in hospital, provide support after they leave and connect them with long term health support as needed" says Adjunct A/Prof Cheryl McCullagh, Director Clinical Integration at the Sydney Children's Hospitals Network. "We have asked families what difficulties they face and what they think might help make their experience better, we have followed their advice andhope that this use of more creative technology tools will empower them to support their care of their children and give even greater voice to their challenges."

The site is designed to empower families through easy-to-use technology and is available on desktops, mobiles and tablets.

The launch of the Kids Care Companion website is planned for May.