A Qualitative Study on Implementation of the Intelligent Bed: Findings from a Rehabilitation Ward at a Large Chinese Tertiary Hospital
Krebs, Hans Jorgen
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The intelligent bed, a mechanical hospital bed equipped with several electronic sensor functions, is an assistive healthcare solution intended to reduce the manual workload of health professionals by providing valuable real-time and non-vital information about patients. Implementation of the intelligent bed in the Chinese health care context has not been fully studied. The aim of this study was to explore the experiences of Chinese health professionals during a 12-month implementation period of the intelligent bed in a rehabilitation department at a large tertiary hospital in Guangzhou. A documentary study was carried out 3 months prior to implementation. Participant observation totalling 35 h and qualitative semi-structured interviews with 9 h and 50 min were conducted over a 12-month testing period. Findings in this study highlighted the improved working ergonomics of the intelligent bed in comparison with regular hospital mechanical beds. The bed’s other advanced functions, however, were either not used by the staff, quickly abandoned after a month, or never fully implemented. Barriers to full implementation of the bed’s functions were the Chinese hierarchical organizational culture, inadequate training of the health professionals on the implementation of the intelligent bed, lack of user-friendliness, and insufficient technical support.
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