EASE: Connecticut Children’s Medical Center uses app to help families during surgery

Connecticut Families

“Michael was born prematurely – six weeks early,” says Emily Doyle, pointing towards her two-year-old son who – last week – had surgery to correct the urinary reflux he’s had since birth. 

The surgery – at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center – took about three hours but new technology allowed the Killingworth mom to stay in the loop. 

“I used an app called EASE that doctors and nurses told us about,” she says.

EASE is an application that makes it easier for parents to do the hardest thing you do in the hospital which is leave their child alone with us and trust us,” explains Dr. Jonathan Martin, who can send messages to patient families during “set-up” and “take-down”. 

Extra nurses can take-part during the operation. 

“Surgeries at this facility can be a few minutes or in some circumstances hours,” says Martin. “And that time is agonizing for families.  So anything we can do to improve communication with families can make a huge difference for them.”

Doyle says EASE is easy to use. 

“You get alerts, notifications sent on your phone – almost like a text message,” says Doyle. 

The app is also considered secure – being described as Snapchat for the operating room.  There’s encryption that allows for one family only to receive the information then it disappears quickly to protect patient privacy.

“It was very helpful because me sitting in the waiting room that anticipation is the worst thing so it definitely helped me get through that with less stress on me,” says Doyle. 

CCMC is using the app frequently.  Martin says he’s getting great feedback from families. 

“Most of us are not just providers, we’re parents.  I think we recognize how difficult this is for families,” he says.  “These small things do make a tremendous difference.”

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