Radiating Hope: Radiology Department Blog


Putting Patients’ Needs First: An iPad Program

Putting Patients’ Needs First: An iPad Program

Irritated birds, candy castles, building block creations and Facebook friends… these are part of the popular culture related to iPads, tablets, interactive apps and the wired world we live in. In the Radiology Department at Cincinnati Children’s, we wanted to capitalize on this familiar electronic medium to directly improve patient care.  At the main campus Radiology Department you will see iPads being used in a variety of ways to enhance your child’s experience.

In 2012, we were awarded a “Putting Patients First” grant by AHRA and Toshiba.  The grant funds were used to purchase 10 iPads to start an iPad program.  The main goals of the iPad program were to improve the radiology patient experience and decrease the need for sedation or anesthesia for radiology procedures.  Since we have begun using iPads, we have found that the ability to have the Internet, apps for all different ages, and many options for music and videos has improved patient cooperation as well as the overall patient experience.  In addition, we have found that the iPads have directly contributed to a reduction in the percentage of patients requiring sedation or anesthesia for their procedure, especially for children ages 3-6 years old.


Using the generosity of the “Putting Patients First” grant, we have created an iPad program that has improved patient care, safety, and satisfaction. While the initial goals of the program have been met, we have found that the possibilities are endless. Since the initial grant, we have expanded the iPad program and now use the devices to collect survey information on how we can improve your family’s experience and our patient care advocate uses an iPad to help your family check appointment times.

One of the most exciting developments has been our partnership with the Department of Diversity at Cincinnati Children’s to use an interpreter app to communicate with non-English-speaking families. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive; everyone agrees that the iPad program has helped us provide safer and more seamless care for your child.

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About the author: Alex Towbin

Alex is a radiologist and the Neil D. Johnson Chair of Radiology Informatics. In this role, he helps to manage the information systems used by the Radiology department. Clinically, Alex is the Assistant Director of thoracoabdominal imaging. His research interests include liver disease, liver tumors, inflammatory bowel disease, and appendicitis.