From time to time, I will post a comment on the little things that work well or poorly in our hospital. I hope this will give you an insight into the unusual aspects of running a hospital that are not present in other organizations. If you want to send me other examples, I will try to address them, too.
How many of you have been a patient in a hospital bed and have faced the problem of the TV remote control that requires you to cycle through the entire set of channels to get back to an earlier channel or to turn off the television? How incredibly frustrating, right? You lie there in bed and say, "What dodo thought of this?" Here is the explanation, from our person in charge of facilities, in response to a patient's complaint:
"We researched it and found that the remote is the one that is connected into our nurse call system, and the company did not have alternatives that would be more convenient. We checked with other hospitals in town and they all had the same limitations. Having these systems integrated reduces the number of separate handheld items hooked to the bed and allows the speaker to be at the bed, particularly important in a double room.
"We looked into the possibility of making available commercially available universal remotes and programming them to work on our TVs, but they would not meet the infection control and electronic system standards required in a hospital (e.g., the infrared used could interfere with the monitoring system). We went back to the nurse call system company, and they are now going to offer remotes that let you turn the TV off without cycling through the stations and allow you to cycle backwards (so if you are on Channel 5 and want Channel 4, you do not have to go ALL around). We don't know if they figured out this new technology based on our call or not. They claimed nobody had ever inquired about this before, but regardless, we are thrilled. As we replace our older remotes, we will use these alternative products and continue to push the company to do even better by more closely mimicking the remotes we all have at home."