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Reassuring and Training Parents at Newborn Care Units. [Updated 7 Jan]

When a baby ends up in a hospital Newborn Care Unit (NCU) or paediatric ward, the anxiety felt by parents is universal. But parents in developing countries often have no practical or psychological support. In Myanmar most parents are not even allowed in the unit, for fear of infections. Nurses and doctors play a vital role in reassuring parents but they ave little time, and limited resources to reassure and teach parents. The idea is to reassure parents and enable them to be part of their child's care. Equipping NCUs with tablets with short videos on early childhood, tips from former NCU parents, explanations by doctors etc. The tablets will be at the heart of a larger early childhood training component.

Photo of Aung Hein
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How will it work?
 
Each Newborn Care Unit will receive a resource tablet for parents. It will be used for waiting parents at hospitals or during parent support groups. The tablets will consist of:
  • Video clips of former NCU parents sharing their experiences and words of encouragement
  • Video interviews with nurses and doctors explaining the NCU environment (sights and sounds of the machines, smells, etc)
  • Simple animations / photos that explain differences in appearance and behaviour of (sick) infants
  • Tips / video's on how to care for newborns (kangaroo mother care, hygiene, nutrition, warning signs ...).
  • Information on after-care at home. 

Synergies: East Meets West, Hands to Hearts and VSO International

The tablets will create synergies between Hands to Hearts Early Childhood curriculum as well as the healthphone , which already has 2,500 videos in 77 languages. Note that this is off-line technology as smart phones with internet-connections are still very underdevelopped in (rural) Myanmar.
 
The tablet will serve as a training tool to empower parents with the skills and knowledge to nurture their children during the first five critical years of life. Exprienced volunteers from VSO international will be trained in the Hand to Hearts curriculum, and in turn, they will train - using the tablet - nurses, caregivers and/or parents at various hospitals and communities. Evidently, all videos and resources will be made contextually, culturally and linguistically appropriate. [7 Jan]: The tablets  also function as are resource bank and parents / peer educators can take resources and ECD lessons from the tablet, put it on a memory card, and use it in their own communities.
 
Why do you think it might succeed?
 
It will work because there is real identified need for it. The Breath of Life program run by East Meets West is currently operational in 39 public hospitals in Myanmar. It provides life-saving neonatal equipment and training for health care workers. But the parents' anxiety and stress are felt by nurses and doctors every day. Hospitals have already confirmed their interests and cooperation. They believe their units will benefit tremendously from better resources. Volunteer nurses from VSO International will bridge local and international resources. They will also support the trainings in the Hands to Hearts curriculum, after which nurses or parents (m/f) will become certified Peer Educators and conduct sessions for parents at the hospitals. This can then blend into weekly with parent support groups, using the resource tablets.

 

Who will benefit from this idea and where are they located?

Parents, newborns, children, and staff of 39 hospitals in Myanmar.

How could you test this idea in a quick and low-cost way right now?

Three things we'll do first: 1) Set up pilot group at one of our focal paediatric hospitals 2) Identify existing and create new resources (former NIC parents, nurses, doctors etc.) 3) Start sharing with parents and build up more resources while testing existing ones. The idea can easily be replicated to other contexts and countries as it uses simple, off-line technologies (video, tablet) and locally available resources (parents, doctors, nurses).

What kind of help would you need to make your idea real?

Need a video and editing person (initially we can do it ourselves) or company, a design company. Ideally, a company who could sponsor tablets (1 per unit). The other elements are already in place (hospital network, training curriculum, parents, volunteers). We welcome all advice and tips on how to make this work too!

Is this an idea that you or your organization would like to take forward?

  • Yes. I am ready and interested in testing this idea and making it real in my community.
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Attachments (5)

MM-Amplify Tablet UEM-Dec 2014-1.jpg

Here is our User Experience Map. Check out the cute drawings and meet Aye Aye (23) whose baby was born with jaundice.

MM-Amplify Tablet UEM-Dec 2014-2.jpg

Second part of User Experience Map (UEM). A worried Aye Aye is reassured

MM-Amplify Tablet UEM-Dec 2014-3.jpg

Part 3. Now that Aye Aye is reassured she is open to learn more and receive additional ECD information

MM-Amplify Tablet UEM-Dec 2014-4.jpg

The last part. See how Aye Aye is now a change agent in her community.

20 comments

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Comment
Spam
Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

I like this idea a lot! It is a great way to improve the relationships with the parents and the staff at hospitals. An addition to this might be transferring the media onto a lower costing device such as television monitors as they would be more familiar with this, such as an interactive DVD.

Spam
Photo of Natalie Lake
Team

Hi Aung,

I think this is a really neat idea. For parents with literacy issues, your videos would be a huge help! Do you think parents will need training on how to use the tablet or will they be familiar with how it functions? What potential barriers do you see coming up? Also do you think it might potentially create situations, like what we've seen with WebMD, where someone gets a cold and thinks they all of a sudden have cancer? Do you think this could potentially create more work for the staff by having parents think a variety of things are wrong with their children?

I think you and your team have created a very nice mix of technology, education and health. I'm looking forward to reading your responses! Best of luck in refinement!

Spam
Photo of Aung Hein
Team

Dear Natalie, thank you for your comment and set of questions.

Here are our responses.

Re: Do you think parents will need training on how to use the tablet or will they be familiar with how it functions?

Many people in Myanmar have experience with smart phones or tablets, but the beauty of a touch-based tablet is its quick learning curve in the case they may not know how to use it. We might also put interactive instructions that come up each time the tablet is used (graphics that say touch here with a finger, etc.)

Re: What potential barriers do you see coming up?

Potential barriers could be a lack of staff to facilitate the use of the tablet. We hope that this will be dealt with by having the dedicated VSO volunteer to support until the tablet program is integrated into the everyday system.

Re: Also do you think it might potentially create situations, like what we've seen with WebMD, where someone gets a cold and thinks they all of a sudden have cancer? Do you think this could potentially create more work for the staff by having parents think a variety of things are wrong with their children?

Well, that is a good point. We need to carefully select our resources, from existing videos (see Healthphone) and new resources. Given that the tablets are not online, parents will not be able to surf into random or misleading information.

I hope that our responses answer your questions.

Thank again, Natalie.

Spam
Photo of Natalie Lake
Team

Hi Aung,

Thank you for the detailed responses! I think you guys have a great handle of this project. I just want to explain what I meant by the WebMD situation a little more because even without having misleading information, parents may 'see' certain illnesses shown on the tablet as symptoms of their children. E.g if the child has a cough they will assume it is whooping cough or TB etc. But, again, it sounds like you guys are carefully screening what information you will be putting on the tablet and like you guys have a great handle on the situation! Thank you for sharing!

Spam
Photo of Elizabeth Kukka
Team

Such a great way to turn wait time into education time.
I can't wait to hear the results once you test the prototype!

Spam
Photo of Aung Hein
Team

Yes Elizabeth, we are protoyping this month January 2015. Keep you posted!

Spam
Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Hi Aung. Great idea for a parent education initiative.
I particularly like the idea you propose to present an Introduction to The Neonatal Unit on the tablet, explaining sights, sounds, smells. Intervening with information on what is happening in this environment is a great idea.

Aside from the more general introductory information will a nurse or doctor instruct parents on what the relevant content is for their particular situation? Parents may not know what they need to know. Also, if you have segments on specific problems that occur in prematurity this information may be needed only on a case by case basis. Might there be open channels for example on newborn care and early childhood development that all parents can benefit from, as well as channels that are discussions by medical professionals on disease states, possible complications, outcomes that would be useful for families in specific circumstances? or do you anticipate this product being something with general information for all parents of newborns?

Looking forward to learning more as you prototype.
Good luck.

Spam
Photo of Aung Hein
Team

Dear Bettina, Thanks for your comment and questions. Here are our responses.

Re: Aside from the more general introductory information will a nurse or doctor instruct parents on what the relevant content is for their particular situation?
Yes, the materials on the tablet will be in sections that a doctor or nurse will instruct parents to ensure that the content is directly relevant to their situation.

Re: Might there be open channels for example on newborn care and early childhood development that all parents can benefit from,

Yes, the Newborn Care Units (we are working in 39 units throughout the country) are merely a starting point from where information flow will start. After initial, crucial information to reassure parents, there will be a nurse (or parent volunteer, or peer educator) at the hospitals offering the education on ECD from Hands to Hearts International (HHI). This can happen at check up time when parents return to the hospital, but also in the wider communities of the parents. These lessons will be applicable to all parents, offered in a small group setting to enable practicing new parenting skills, while fostering questions, conversations and greater emotional support to parents. Tablets and their resources will still a vital play a role, as mothers, peers or volunteers can easily take what they need (on memory card) and add to their own locally available phones, computers or tablets.

Thank you.

Spam
Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Wow Aung that is a great service - to be able to take resources/lessons from the ECD education on the tablet, put it on a memory card, and use it at home. I did not realize that that is an option.
The post above notes that in most NICUs in Myanmar parents are not allowed to enter due to fear of infection. Have you used tablets to facilitate parents being able to communicate with the nurses at the bedside and to see the newborns in the incubators?

Best of luck developing your initiative.

Spam
Photo of Chioma Ume
Team

Hello Training Tablets Team! We've been having early childhood experts take a look at the ideas in Refinement and they've shared some feedback on your idea. They've touched on some things that I know you are already working on and are important to consider: The content needs to be relevant, adapted to local contexts and targeted. It should also be integrated and aligned with the overall system. Give careful thought to how staff will be trained to use these tablets so that they achieve the goals of your project.

Spam
Photo of Chioma Ume
Team

Hi Aung, thanks for updating your idea! Quick tip - letting us know the date of of your most recent update in your title will help a lot. Also, adding the date in front of the parts you add to the body of your idea like in the Anatomy of a Refinement example will help us easily find what's new! http://ideo.pn/0to5-tips-refine Looking forward to seeing more updates from your team soon!

Spam
Photo of Diini Omar
Team

This tablet with practical resource is great encouragement for parent and we'd promote to everyone. As very parent would probably like to get them hand on it while they are in hospital to get access all this information in their own time as we you know nurse have no time therefore doing your personal research is essential. Best luck Diini

Spam
Photo of Aung Hein
Team

Exactly Omar. And our experience has clearly shown that parents in hospitals are very anxious and nervous, and have very little or no access to information. Most are not allowed to be with their newborns. Reassuring them is a first step to change hospitals from being scary places to friendly spaces. The tablet will be very useful as it is low-tech, assures consistent resources among all hospitals and can be used in different ways, group-wise or individually. Thanks you.

Spam
Photo of Chioma Ume
Team

Hi Aung Hein! Thanks for sharing your idea! Do you already work with Hands to Hearts in Myanmar? What is the nature of your collaboration?

Spam
Photo of Aung Hein
Team

Hello Chioma, not yet, but very keen to! We've had initial exchanges and we believe there's a real need for the type of training Hands to Hearts provides.
Their curriculum has been designed for mothers and caregivers, but can very well be used to include health workers.

Spam
Photo of Chioma Ume
Team

Great, thanks! Be sure to update your idea as things progress!

Spam
Photo of Laura Peterson
Team

Hi Chioma, I'm from Hands to Hearts International and I've been working with Aung and his team on this and are very excited to have HHI's materials adapted to be used for moms, dads and health workers in this project.

Spam
Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Congratulations on making the Zero to Five Refinement list, Aung! We really like that your idea is focused on providing information to new parents at a critical and overwhelming time. Are you planning on both parental support groups and newborn information in the hospitals? Which of these ideas would you work on first? It’s great that you have had initial conversations with Hands to Heart – do you expect to be able to use their curriculum for this project? If you can’t, do you have an alternative in mind? Will VSO Myanmar be implementing this idea? Have your volunteer nurses participated in similar programs in the past? What has been learned that will be applied to this idea? Why is a tablet the best delivery mechanism for parents to receive this information? If a tablet is the best way to share this information, how can you harness their interactive elements of tablets in addition to video? Are there sanitation concerns with using tablets in hospitals? Consider what you could do to start prototyping this idea with parents in Myanmar using your existing resources. Check out tips for Refinement http://ideo.pn/0to5-tips-refine here.

Spam
Photo of Guy Viner
Team

Great inspiration, Aaung! Something we'd encourage you to think about is how you might update your Summary section (text above the image gallery) to encapsulate what your idea actually entails briefly and clearly.

Here's a template if you need some help, though feel free to come up with your own clarifying sentence structure.

Our idea is a_________________ [campaign/app/service/program/online platform/toolkit/social enterprise/etc.] that tackles the problem of _____________[the issue being addressed ] by __________[what your idea looks like in practice].

See some Summary examples from the Amplify Team on a previous challenge here: https://openideo.com/challenge/womens-safety/shortlist

Spam
Photo of Guy Viner
Team

Also, We thought you and others here might like to check these tips on prototyping – and try some part of this idea out in your own community to see what you learn to develop it further: http://ideo.pn/pr0t0type Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!