A tech tour of the new Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford

From the most advanced clinical technology to sophisticated navigation services to integrated “edu-tainment” for patients and families, we are proud to use the latest in technology and innovation to usher in a new era of pediatric care Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford.

Cutting-edge clinical technology

Ten years in the making, the new Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital incorporates the latest in clinical technology to enable us to provide the highest level of care for our patients. There are several major pieces of new equipment and technologically-advanced facilities located in the new, Main building that expand our clinical capabilities and improve efficiency in kid-friendly environments.

Neuro-hybrid suite

Located in the new building, the Neuro-Hybrid Surgery Suite is the only combined pediatric neurosurgical suite in California. By installing state-of-the-art MRI and angiography equipment together in one operating room, several efficiencies are realized. An MRI is an important piece of diagnostic equipment because it gives surgeons a high-resolution image of the child’s brain. In the past, if an MRI was required immediately before or after the operation, the patient would be wheeled from the operating room to the MRI suite and then back to the operating room, often lengthening their time under anesthesia significantly. We can now do everything in the same room.  This will significantly decrease the amount of time spent in the operating room, resulting in decreased risk to the patient and improved outcomes. The self-contained suite facilitates efficiency and precision in guiding treatment.

Another piece of exciting clinical technology is the hybrid PET/MRI machine that combines positron emission tomography with traditional magnetic resonance imaging. This is the only standalone PET/MRI scanner dedicated to pediatric patients in Northern California. The PET imaging helps to measure the functionality of tissues and organs within the body. By combining PET and MRI into a hybrid machine, physicians can more precisely see how diseases are behaving in the body, monitor the effects of treatment, and craft informed treatment plans to cater to each child. As we commit to advancing Precision Medicine and treating patients based on their individual needs, this technology is a critical tool for improving disease detection and treatment. Additional advantages of this technology are that it shortens the time of study and significantly decreases the radiation dose delivered to the patient. Having a dedicated pediatric PET scanner in our new hospital means that patients will no longer have to travel to the adult hospital or compete with adult patients for available slots, which will dramatically increase availability of this technology. Now, everything is in one place, making it safer for the patient and more efficient for the care team.  And while the child is in the scanner, they can be entertained and distracted with child-friendly shows, movies or entire new worlds delivered through virtual reality goggles.

The new hospital also has a dedicated pediatric isotope therapy room, allowing for the safe delivery of targeted radioactive pharmaceutical isotope therapies for cancer patients.  Instead of having to transfer to the adult hospital or an outside organization, our patients will now be able to receive this critical therapy within the confines of our children’s hospital while being cared for by our specialized pediatric staff.

Finally, the new building also includes state of the art pediatric heart catheterization rooms, eliminating the need to transfer some of our most complicated patients with congenital heart defects back and forth to the adult hospital.  The information systems being implemented to support the catheterization rooms are designed specifically for children and will enable advanced analytics to help doctors continually learn new insights from each of their patients. To help families understand the procedures that take place in the catheterization rooms, Stanford heart specialists have launched the unprecedented Stanford Virtual Heart project. The Stanford Virtual Heart uses immersive virtual reality technology to help explain complex congenital heart defects to patients, families, and even medical trainees.  This novel technology helps patients and families understand their heart and the necessary interventions in ways they never could before.

All of the new clinical technologies are pediatric-specific and allow us to provide more comprehensive services within our facility. These new clinical technologies allow us to give our patients the very best care in a child-friendly environment.

Technology that transforms the hospital experience for patients, families and staff

In addition to the clinical advancements, many other technologies are seamlessly woven throughout the hospital to create a welcoming and accessible environment for patients, families, and staff.

As you enter our facilities, you are welcomed by digital signage that provides announcements, messages, and event notifications. Digital wayfinding screens tactically located throughout the building help patients, family, and staff navigate the growing facilities. Additionally the new Stanford Medicine Children’s mobile app has a navigation feature for the hospital and will incorporate geofencing technology to welcome patients when they arrive.

As patients and families make their way through the hospital, they will encounter multiple pieces of technology designed to engage and delight. From art work that comes alive through the lens of a tablet to the digital interactive wall to a full recording studio, the technology is designed to stimulate the minds of children in a manner more consistent with a children’s museum than a hospital.

There are also many pieces of new technology dedicated to making it easier for our staff to access the information and resources they need to care for patients.  In every clinical unit, electronic whiteboards display key unit-level care team and patient information. Mounted outside of each room is a tablet displaying patient identification and precautions so the care team can has immediate visibility of key information before entering the room. Real-Time Locating System (RTLS) allows for the tracking of critical medical equipment. Ceiling sensors will pick up signals emanating from equipment tagged with radio-frequency identification (RFID) stickers, helping staff quickly access to the equipment they need.  Finally, staff will be equipped with special phones which allow for secure text messaging across the care team; are integrated with patient bedside alarms to ensure rapid notification of the patient’s nurse; and have embedded barcode scanning to help nurses access just-in-time educational materials.

Integrated technology in patient rooms aims to engage, educate and heal

Advanced technologies are also engineered to work together within each patient room to facilitate patient care and enhance the patient and family experience.  Each one of the new patient rooms features a Smart TV on the wall, another TV screen in the parent sleeping space, and an iPad. The child can be using one screen for entertainment while the parents can be use another for internet access or education. An online video library contains full lectures by physicians and staff. Topics such as nutrition, post-surgery guidelines, or fitness during pregnancy are available for viewing at any time. Each room contains a modern gaming platform featuring the latest game releases. And the videos produced in the recording studio can be viewed from the patient’s rooms on Packard Vision.  Additionally, RTLS badges help families identify their care teams. Upon entering a patient’s room, a ceiling scanner will read the badge and identify the staff member on the Smart TV screen. Parents can immediately see who it is that just entered and what their role is.  This technology will also allow us to automate tasks for staff, such as turning off alarms when a staff member enters the room, to allow them to focus their attention on the patient.

ICU patient with iPad

These are just a sample of the types of innovation embedded in our growing hospital, and the technology will continue to evolve rapidly. Of course, it’s not just the high-tech, state-of-the-art technologies that make the new hospital so extraordinary. It’s the people inside and their commitment to patients and their families. These technologies and innovations are designed to make it easier to provide the best care possible for our patients.


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