Health tech / VR

Christiana Care’s VR Therapy wins 2018 Magnet Award

The honor was awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center for improving cancer patients' experience.

A ChristianaCare patient getting treatment while wearing a VR headset. (Courtesy photo)

During one of many insightful DIW18 Dev Talks, we heard about Christiana Care’s Virtual Reality Distraction Therapy for chemotherapy patients – a mental health procedure that takes patients away from the chemo suite and immerses them in a more soothing environment.

John DiGiovanni, Innovation Architect at Christiana Care, said that the experimental VR therapy, aimed at helping users cope with the stress of undergoing treatment, was so helpful for some cancer patients that they looked forward to chemo days.

The innovative therapy has not gone unnoticed by the greater medical community. On Nov. 14, Christiana Care Health System announced that it won the prestigious 2018 Magnet Prize from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) for using virtual reality technology to improve patients’ experience during chemotherapy at Christiana Care’s Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute.

“Our objective was to offer our patients a positive, relaxing distraction, an escape from the confinement of the infusion suite and the boredom, anxiety or discomfort they may associate with their chemotherapy,” said Cancer Program Clinical Director Cindy Waddington, in a statement. “Nurses worked together as a team with all of our partners to bring this technology to patients.”

Learn more about virtual reality in the chemotherapy suites in this video:

“This high-tech, positive distraction improves patients’ experience and gives our exceptional nurses an opportunity to demonstrate our system’s value of serving together with love,” said Ric Cuming, Christiana Care’s chief nurse executive, in a statement. “We are thankful and humbled to receive the ANCC Magnet Prize in recognition of our efforts to improve patient care and outcomes.”

More details from the press release:

The Oculus Rift VR headset was selected for use by the Innovation Center development team. Specially-trained Christiana Care volunteers not only bring the virtual reality equipment to patients and adjust it for fit, sound and visual clarity, but provide additional socialization and respite for the patients. The device is connected to a laptop computer that runs the software. Patients can choose from scenery that includes a winter forest, Bavarian Alps, Irish landscapes, lush meadow, an Australian beach preserve and the beaches of Cape May, New Jersey. In the future, Christiana Care plans to include pre-chemotherapy education through virtual reality.

The Magnet Recognition Program recognizes healthcare organizations for quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice.

Companies: ChristianaCare

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