A Chance to Wait is a Chance to Educate: Playaways® and the Arizona Patient Library

April 26, 2012 at 8:39 am 1 comment

The Patient and Health Education Library in Arizona received grant funding from a CPI-10 grant and implemented the use of Playaways®, handheld Mp3 players for patients and family members.  Noting that patients and family members were often stressed by the uncertainly surrounding their health care diagnosis and treatment options, a variety of meditations and music (acoustic guitar, violin, harp, classical and jazz) were chosen for implementation.  Patients and family members were allowed to checkout the devices for the day, and were asked to return them prior to closing at the library, in order to be cleaned and disinfected for the patients’ usage the following day.

The study began as a working project of the Complementary and Integrative Medicine Committee, and included physician representatives as well as an administrator, patient education specialist, medical librarian, and staff from the Mayo Clinic Historical Unit and Mayo Clinic Humanities in Medicine areas.

In the pilot project which was held over three months, a total of 220 Playaways® were circulated.  As part of the education process for staff checking them out, each staff member was encouraged to use the device and to report any problems or issues which arose.  In addition, for patient usage, all patients were given written instructions, and face-to-face demonstrations with return demonstrations to determine their ability to problem solve if they had questions when using the devices.

Marketing the new devices was accomplished through the use of flyers, posters, and online communication for employees as well as displays within the library.  All users were asked to evaluate the devices and to offer suggestions for additional titles and there was a 76.9% return rate which offered much needed information on the success of the program.

The following information was gleaned from the surveys which were returned.

Because the Playaways were so successful, the staff in the Patient Library has worked to add content on Mayo Clinic history to the next generation of Playaways, those that have video screens.

Many of the Mayo Clinic Heritage Week films have now been loaded on the Playaway Views for check-out.  In continuing to reach out to the needs of the consumers served, the units are also being piloted on an inpatient unit at the hospital and are also being considered as possible next generation tools to provide patient education on specific tests, to reinforce post discharge instructions on specific conditions, and to possibly provide virtual tours of the artwork within the Mayo Clinic Arizona Buildings.

For more information on the Playaway project, contact the Patient and Health Education Library at 480 301-8946 or email the librarian, Carol Ann Attwood, at attwood.carol@mayo.edu.

Carol Ann Attwood
Patient and Health Education Library
Mayo Clinic Arizona

Entry filed under: Feature Articles.

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1 Comment

  • 1. Sarah Christensen  |  May 18, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Based on Carol Ann’s successful program in Arizona, Playways are available in Rochester in the Cancer Education Center, Gonda lobby. Patients and families with any diagnosis are welcome to check-out one of our many titles on relaxation, sleep, pain or coping. Sarah Christensen, Manager, Cancer Education Program



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