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Introducing SPARK® Media Bedside Units, the Hospedia Upgrade

9 minute read

Introducing SPARK® Media Bedside Units, the Hospedia Upgrade

If you’ve been to hospital, then you’ve probably seen a Hospedia Bedside Unit – those TV's above a patient bed. With their presence in 120 Trusts, It’s a common sight. However, it’s no secret that these units are outdated, having been introduced two decades ago. Technology advances at a rapid pace and these old Bedside Units have fallen behind. They were also built on a patient-pays concession model which isn’t commonly accepted anymore. That’s why it’s time to upgrade to SPARK® Media BSU, the New-to-Market Bedside Units.

Learn more about SPARK® Media BSU.

More About Hospedia

Before delving into the exciting potential of SPARK® Media BSU, let’s examine the current state of the Bedside Units. Hospedia has two main models. One requires a remote to navigate the screen and has limited entertainment options, and a touchscreen model that provides more entertainment options.

Positives of Hospedia:Hospedia Bedside Unit

  • Has free TV for a limited time and Free Radio all the time.
  • There are other entertainment options available.
  • When first installed, there was no cost to the Trusts saving hundreds of millions of pounds to the NHS.
  • Links to NHS resources can be uploaded onto the units. This includes links to NHS videos as the units have access to the internet.  
  • Specialised videos can be uploaded and there’s currently a patient safety video available to watch.  
  • Surveys can be uploaded for Trusts to ask patients questions.
  • Patients can call family and friends free of charge from the bedside phone (there are some duration limitations)
  • Images can be uploaded such as the food menu.
  • A dementia orientation screen can be added.

Negatives of Hospedia:

  • Patients have to pay for the extra entertainment options. 
    The units can be broken for long periods of time because it’s hard to get hold of certain parts due to their age.
  • The screen quality is not as good as the modern standard (because they’re 20 years old)
    It’s a slow process to upload anything to the units and they aren’t very adaptable. 
    Inbound calls come with a price for the caller. 
  • Patients don’t know enough about the units to make the most out of them.
    Many patients find them hard to use.
    Hospedia Bedside Unit

In the meantime, we encourage Trusts to educate their staff and therefore their patients on what the current Bedside units can do, to ensure patients get the most out of the available services. When the new SPARK® Media on Bedside Units are installed, staff and patients will be more familiar with the ‘bedside entertainment and engagement’ concept and will be able to use the units to their full potential.  

If you’re a decision maker in an NHS Trust, or a member of staff that want to learn more about the Hospedia Bedside Units, then please get in touch. 

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What is a SPARK® Media BSU?

The innovative SPARK® Media BSU is a cutting-edge bedside unit, specifically created to maximize the existing infrastructure found in hospitals, such as the Hospedia arms and to provide a vast amount of new features and benefits for patients and staff. By utilising the current wall mounts, Trusts can save on installation costs, providing a seamless and hassle-free plug-and-play experience. Additionally, these units can be mounted on wheeled trollies or workstations, making them versatile and adaptable to any ward. Whether replacing the outdated Hospedia Units or introducing a brand-new entertainment and engagement system, SPARK® Media BSU is the perfect solution for modern healthcare facilities. 


What Does a SPARK® Media BSU Look Like?

SPARK® Media BSU is a state-of-the-art bedside unit that resembles a large tablet with a contemporary touchHorizon no background screen and high-quality imaging. It operates like a tablet in a controlled environment, and instead of searching on Google, web links are displayed like modern applications for security. Patients can effortlessly access resources such as Netflix, hospital information, or in-depth knowledge about their condition from their hospital bed through the click of a button. SPARK® Media uses hospital WiFi to display these web-based apps. SPARK TSL also provides NHS WiFi through SPARK® Connect as part of our Managed WiFi service.  

A web link platform might sound familiar. That’s because SPARK® Media (our BYOD engagement solution) works the same way. The Bedside Unit element expands upon this product by making it available to everyone, regardless if they have their own device or not.  

What are the Benefits?

1.   SPARK® Media BSU aims to bridge the digital inequality between generations by providing web links that can be tailored to the ward level. For instance, in elderly wards, the number of options can be reduced to make it less daunting. Patients can access links to BBC archives and reminiscences to relive fond memories, as well as catch-up TV, live TV, and radio.

2.   By using SPARK® Media BSU as an information database, Trusts can improve staff efficiencies and save valuable time. Rather than spending a few seconds with each patient to communicate simple information such as meal times and visiting hours, staff can use the bedside unit to relay this information. This allows them to spend more time with patients who need medical attention and provide a higher level of care.

3.   SPARK® Media BSU offers a plethora of entertainment options that can be tailored to each ward. Trusts can start with the basics like catch-up TV and streaming services. Then live TV and Radio can be integrated to shoSPARK Horizonw a wide range of channels and link up the hospital radio. Our SPARK® Media add-ons can also be applied, such as digital newspapers and magazines, puzzle games and video calling. The options really are limitless. 

4.   Provide specialist care information. There are many NHS resources online through articles, information databases and videos. These can be applied to specific wards where required. A deconditioning video could be available on all wards but ankle recovery advice would only be available on orthopaedic wards. Dementia services can also be made available to provide specialist care for patients. 

5.   SPARK® Media BSU is not just a modern bedside unit, but also a valuable tool for Trust engagement. With its ability to host surveys, display pop-up messages, and promote hospital services and campaigns, it is built to complement each Trust and their hospitals by providing support to their existing services. Trusts can use Horizon to improve their communication with patients and create a more engaged and informed hospital community.


How is This Better Than Hospedia?

It is free for the patient. We can use this product to eradicate the patient pays model of Hospedia. This was the primary reason why SPARK TSL acquired Hospedia; to transform the patient experience by eliminating barriers to accessing entertainment. 

It’s not 20 years old. SPARK® Media BSU is a modern tablet that can be updated like any other Android device. It hosts web links making it very adaptable. It can enable modern hospital concepts such as virtual wards because it can support video calling. Depending on the wards needs, it can come with or without the phone functionality.

It’s constantly evolving. While Hospedia units have a baseline offering, they can’t provide much else than what’s already on there. SPARK® Media BSU is built to adapt and evolve with the times. It has all the ports imaginable including USB and HDMI. There’s also an RFID card slot for future clinical integration. Additionally, existing healthcare apps can be seamlessly integrated into the system to support hospitals with their existing applications. This adaptability ensures that Horizon will continue to meet the changing needs of the hospitals of the future.  


What Will This Digital Transformation Bring?

SPARK® Media BSU will ultimately help tackle some of the larger challenges in the NHS including issues such as delayedSPARK Horizon used by elderly discharge. Sometimes the clinician isn’t on site when a patient needs to be discharged, so they have to wait another day. Clinicians also might have to drive between sites to discharge people like in United Lincolnshire where clinicians have to travel between Grantham and Boston. By having video calling available at the patient's bedside, clinicians can simply call the patient for a discharge rather than using their valuable time traveling.  

In the financial year for 2022, 16 million people completed an inpatient episode in an acute NHS Trust. If a quarter of 1% of those people left hospital one day earlier, the NHS would have an additional 400,000 nights of capacity.

Resources to the bedside such as patient portals, medication, information support, guidance, patient information, video resources, condition-specific information resources, charities, services, signposting and helping patients to understand what the pharmacy does or whether there is walking assistance, will all accumulate and help solve readmissions with more educated patients. It will also save staff time, reassure those patients and encourage a faster recovery.  

SPARK® Media BSU can help chip away at some of the challenges that face the NHS to relieve some of the pressure. With more Trusts helping to evolve the platform, there’s no telling the types of benefits this modern piece of technology can bring.  

Learn more about our products and the benefits they can bring to your Trust.


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