Hospital offers parents digital updates on their preemies

Sheba Medical Center’s neonatal unit uses text messages to keep concerned parents in the loop

In an effort to ease both the nerves of distressed new parents and pressure on doctors to constantly provide information, Sheba Medical Center outside Tel Aviv has launched a new program for its neonatal care unit that updates parents on their premature infant’s well-being via text message.

Every morning the unit sends out personalized texts messages, updating the parents on their baby’s weight, general health, and the results of any tests they underwent.

“The new service is not a substitute for verbal updates from the staff when there is a turn to the worse in the baby’s condition,” Dr. Tzipi Strauss, the neonatal care unit’s administrator, told Israel Hayom. “Things are often very dynamic in the neonatal care unit. There are many routine examinations and a lot of information that we don’t always have time to inform 70 sets of parents about.”

The new text messaging system has helped clear the staff’s time, saving having to talk on the phone and update the concerned parents about all the little details of their children’s care.

“The goal of the program is to lower anxiety levels. We have seen that parents are responding well to the service… the babies’ stay in the unit can sometimes last several weeks. We just want to make things easier for the parents,” said Strauss.

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