Among all the experiences for children at the hospital, having surgery is probably the most terrifying. It’s among the reasons that NYP devotes Child Life Specialists solely to caring for children about to receive anesthesia and surgery. Likewise, kids and their families will meet many different nurses, physicians, and other care team members across many disciplines throughout the perioperative process. This app guides parents (and kids) through that experience.


Believe it or not, the current process for providing pediatric patients and their families with information related to the perioperative experience relies on phone calls (during which information can often be misinterpreted) and paper note cards (that are often lost). With smartphones becoming ubiquitous, we thought it would be helpful to have one centralized app that guides parents and pediatric patients from the time before surgery until and through the recovery process.


Although designed by a small app development team, we wanted as many NYP employees and nonemployee stakeholders involved as possible. What does this mean? Well, we sought out input from recovery room and operating room nurses; we sat down with child life specialists to ask them what would be helpful to include in the app; we spoke with surgeons to get their feedback and perspective. Equally important, we chatted with pediatric patients and their caretakers – parents, grandparents, guardians, etc. – informally to see what sort of useful information we should include.

What was most impressive to us was the enthusiasm of NYP’s own employees – especially nurses and child life specialists. They are super excited about this app and, likewise, we were so grateful to get their feedback. Even for “little” things like showing photos taken from the eye level of a small child to make things more realistic and less scary (suggested by a perioperative child life specialist).


We expect this app to accomplish several goals. First and foremost, we want the child’s anesthetic, surgical, and recovery experience to be as pleasant and stress-free as possible. We also want their grown-up caretakers to feel as stress-free as possible. To that extent, we linked to the FindNYP app which provides excellent interactive maps around the children’s hospitals at both NYP campuses. We also provided all of the pre-operative instructions like what to bring and when the child should stop eating/drinking beforehand. We described the family resource center and text updating services to family members so that parents, etc. can have a place for themselves during surgery yet be able to receive text updates as they do now. We also know that kids are likely to be looking over mom’s shoulder at her iPhone, so we have included a lot of material in the app specifically for children. We expect this app to increase parent and child satisfaction and comfort. We also, quite frankly, think that this app will help NYP to become more efficient because parents will have a consistent, reliable, and always available source of information. This should help to reduce OR delays caused by miscommunication or misunderstanding of, for example, not properly fasting before surgery or even not arriving on time.


We wanted to provide a good amount of content without overwhelming the parents or child. We expect that the app will have to be tweaked and updated as need be, but we think we have chosen the “highest yield” information to be incorporated, and we’ve confirmed this with doctors, nurses, child life, unit assistants, parents, kids, etc.


EASE OF USE: Problem-solving is central to both medicine and the field of experience design. We are a team comprised of a seasoned practitioner of healthcare UX and two NYP physicians who work directly with innovative technology and the pediatric population. As such, we are uniquely poised to define and deliver intuitive solutions. We chose to address the challenges inherent to perioperative care because it is an opportunity to truly have an impact on families during a very stressful time. We believe we can help alleviate some of this stress on our end users, these parents and children.

DESIGN: Our design adheres to standards set by NYP in regards to both the branding and narrative across pre-existing NYP apps (FindNYP, MyNYP etc.). Our aim is to provide a clarity and consistency as we deliver fundamental information during such a critical time. Although our primary audience is the family, pediatric users will find stories, games and content created with them in mind. Note- Our text content is a combination of NYP physician feedback and pre-existing NYP materials that needed to be refined and digitized.


CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION: Technology in perioperative care is surprisingly limited. After speaking with several child life professionals and members of the NYP community, our app seeks to be the beginnings of a bridge between members of childlife and the surgical care team of the child.

SCALING / STANDARDS: Central to usability is ‘scalability’. FHIR server is an incredible opportunity, the resources we are proposing to utilize are patient identifiers such as Name, Sex, Date of Birth as well as Assessment and Plan of Treatment. In order to avoid custom integration, we are proposing to utilize a QR code, generated when the patient is scheduled for surgery, in order to populate the app with specified content that is not overwhelming in nature.

“NYP cares, do you?” - NYPCareSx


Now that our design assets, content and user testing are complete, we will begin preparing our app for submission to the app store. We know this is just the beginning.

For more info, please check us out online: http://rivelle.xyz/nypcaresx

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