About the Pod

What is it?

 
                                   

The Patient Pod is a simple device that helps patients and caregivers work together for your better health.  The Pod is a soft, wipe-able pouch with a message clip and display area, that clips easily on any bed rail, walker or wheelchair. It comes pre-packed with hand hygiene tools, notepad and pen. It's uniquely designed to hold your things in reach, and in a clean, safe place. (Thousands of cell phones, hearing aids and dentures get lost in hospitals each year.) The "face" of the Patient Pod shows your personal photo and the name you prefer; it helps caregivers see you not as a patient, but as a person precious to your family. If you're hard of hearing, or are allergic to latex, you just post that message in the clip. It's less worrying about oversight or mistakes. (This feature took shape when Pod creator Pat Mastors' father was in the hospital.) The Pod also helps manage all those hand-outs, prescriptions and other paperwork you get at discharge, supporting your recovery at home. Many patients use it for months after leaving the hospital, clipped on a walker to hold cell phone, medicines, insurance card, etc. If you know someone who goes to the hospital often, how comforting is it to know all their "stuff" is packed inside, ready to be grabbed at a moment's notice?  

The Patient Pod system provides benefits to hospitals and nursing facilities just as it does to patients. 

 

     
"I loved having my cell phone right there - it was my lifeline. And having my iPod and ear buds always in reach kept me sane!" - Hali B., recovering from leg surgery.

The pivoting "clamp" is key to the Patient Pod's helpfulness.
The "call button" is our lifeline. And if it goes unanswered, we're helpless.
We wanted to fix that.
We found the only "constant" in the patient's room - never pushed o
ut of reach - is the bed rail. It was important that the attachment clamp for the Pod work on bed rails of all shapes and sizes, with no ties, Velcro, glue or bolts that would take time to undo in an emergency . It also had to pivot, so when you raise the bed (and the rail), items inside won't fall out.

WHAT COMES WITH IT? Hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, tips on having the best possible hospital stay, a medical information card, notepad and pen, and a custom cover (plus a spare) for the TV remote control. (Lab tests show it's the "germiest" item in the patient's room). Not only can you keep your own hands clean, but with your own bottle of hand sanitizer, you're empowered to ask others to help you. When a visitor or caregiver (who may have forgotten to clean their hands) approaches you, isn't it more comfortable offering a squeeze from your bottle of hand sanitizer than sending them back out the
door to use the dispenser?



Patient’s World Patient’s world with the Patient Pod™
1. "I need clean hands, and want to make sure the things I touch are clean." A portable hand hygiene system (hand sanitizer, wipes for items you touch, and a cover for the remote control)
2. "I hate to ask for help for every little thing, like reaching my things. Plus I’m afraid I’ll lose things I value.” "I don’t need to wait for help with little things, because I have my own personal storage container.”
3. "I want to take my cell phone with me when I walk the halls with my walker or IV pole.”  Clip the Pod vertically or horizontally on the pole to bring your things with you.
4. "I’m afraid I’ll forget what I’m told – and I don't want to make the doctor wait while I find a pen and something to write on.” A pen and paper to take notes
5. "I don’t know where to put handouts, prescriptions, and notes.” Put them right inside your Patient Pod
6. "I’m frustrated that I keep telling everyone I’m hard of hearing (or have another need or question). The staff is always changing, and they forget.” A mobile message center is integrated into the Pod's design so you can post a message, need or question where anyone can see it.
7. "I’m afraid I won’t know what to look out for in the hospital, or what’s expected.” Simple instructions and tips are printed on the fold-out card inside
8. "They keep asking me the same questions – like my daughter’s cell phone number – sometimes I‘m to groggy to remember.” A medical and contact information form, so you can write everything down and keep it handy to hand over when needed
9. "I feel unknown and anonymous - like a task on someone’s list.” "They see me as a person, because of my photo, preferred name and posted message.”
10. "I am so angry the hospital lost my hearings aids. They cost me $3500, and tell me they’re not responsible. I’ll NEVER come here again!” A private, pocket inside the Pod stores personal items.

For Caregivers



Caregiver’s world Caregiver’s World with the Patient Pod™
1. "I am just too busy to invest time getting to know my patients, or interact with them personally.” At a glance, the patient’s photo tells you something about their home life and offers a point of conversation.
2. "The name on the chart says 'Bettina Michaels'…I’ll call her 'Bettina'”. The patient has never liked the name Bettina, and posts the name "Tina" where you can see it.
3. Tina tells you she’s hard of hearing, and could you please speak up? Staff changes constantly and there’s no way other staff can be made aware. Suggest Tina put a note in the message clip so everyone who comes in the room will know to speak up. (Or do it for her.)
4. Tina is unable to reach hand sanitizer, so must always call for your help to clean hands (worse, doesn't clean her hands, or risks a fall getting to the bathroom sink.)
Tina can always reach hand sanitizer.
5. Tina is upset and angry that her eyeglasses…which she left on the dinner tray…got tossed out in the kitchen. Her glasses are stored in a safe, accessible, clean place.
6. Tina calls you for low-level tasks like bringing her cell phone closer, because people keep pushing the bed table out of reach. Tina’s things are always accessible. She only calls you for more high-level tasks (like pain management, bathroom).
7. You have important information to give Tina, but have to wait while she or a family member fumbles for pen and paper to write it down. A pen and paper are always accessible inside the Pod.
8. You hand Tina discharge papers, but aren’t sure they’ll make it home. They go right inside her Patient Pod, so she can successfully manage her care, and potentially avoid readmission.
9. "I went into care giving to help people, but my job has become so much data entry and filling in reports.” "I like bringing 'high-touch' care back to the bedside. I like that my patients have information and tools so they can be informed, comfortable, and proactive in caring for themselves.”
10. "Knowing what I know, I wouldn’t want to be a patient myself.” "I would definitely want a Patient Pod for myself.”

For Hospitals click here

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Snap the green button in back of the Pod into the white clamp. Then attach the clamp to the bedrail (or other fixture), with the Pod facing you. Insert your personal items. That's it!

Click here to see the printed tips and instructions that come inside the Pod. 

When you’re discharged, take your Patient Pod home with you – it clips on airplane tray tables, the seat pocket of cars, strollers, boats, etc. You can wash it in the washing machine. Still have questions? Check out our FAQs.

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The Patient Pod Story

A Rhode Island woman, Pat Mastors, began working on what would become "The Patient Pod” after acting as her father’s health advocate during his prolonged hospitalization. Bob Stegeman entered the hospital for neck surgery, and suffered many medical complications over the six months that followed.

The anxiety and helplessness Pat and her family felt during this time was overwhelming:

"Within weeks, Dad went from a stubbornly independent man who still fixed his car and mowed his own lawn to a frail, dependent shell of himself. His caregivers rotated constantly, and his room was switched a dozen times. It was frustrating that on top of his medical challenges, we were always posting new notes and reminding caregivers about Dad's hearing problem (water had spilled on his hearing aids and ruined them during his first days in the hospital). But of course it was even more frustrating for my father, and eventually he gave up even trying to communicate. (I later learned caregivers often think this means the patient is "losing it", when in fact, they can't hear). Every time I'd leave Dad's hospital room, I'd wonder if he'd be able to find his things, or if people would remember to speak up when they talked to him. The experience ate away at his health, and his dignity."

This experience led Pat to want to improve safety, dignity and autonomy for all hospital patients. She started an informational website to inform other families about infection risk and prevention strategies, and worked through her state legislature to pass new patient safety laws. Pat believed that simple solutions could be found - if someone went looking for them. She used her research and interviewing skills from more than 20 years as a news and medical reporter, asking patients, families, caregivers and hospital administrators to share their insights and "wish-lists".

All this feedback was distilled into the first Patient Pod prototype, cobbled together in Pat’s kitchen out of craft foam, clamps, Velcro and hot glue. She brought her prototype to Fuzion Design Inc., where product developers Joe Cacciola and Wayne Blatchley took on the challenge of creating something entirely new - a tangible tool patients could use to be part of the care team. Months of prototyping and revisions were followed by patient trials in hospitals from New England to Florida, from the Southwest to the Midwest.

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