EASE Mobile App Expands Use at Orlando Health

  • Orlando Health endorses use of EASE because we believe effective communication between the healthcare team and family members is a key component to providing the best possible patient care and experience. 
  • EASE is a no cost, minimal effort way that physicians can enhance the patient experience at Orlando Health. 
  • EASE is easy to download and is safe, secure, and HIPAA-compliant. All messages, photos and/or videos are erased within 60 seconds of delivery, just like Snapchat.
  • Enhances communication and help keep families and friends informed about all aspects of care during surgery. 
  • View videos from patients and physicians who use the EASE App. 

Answers to your questions about EASE

What is EASE?
EASE stands for “electronic access to surgical events.” It is a HIPAA-compliant app that allows health care professionals to provide updates to friends and family of patients undergoing medical procedures.


How does EASE work?
Family members can download the app for free from either the Apple or Android Store to their own mobile device. By following a simple registration process, a unique access code is generated which is then scanned by the clinical staff member and a secure connection is made. The family members will then be able to receive updates directly from the operating room.


Does EASE help improve satisfaction?
At the end of each procedure, recipients are asked to complete a survey. Out of 2,045 survey responses at APH, 94.5% of respondents said the app made them feel more at EASE and the average overall rating was 9.7 out of 10. Out of 317 survey responses at ORMC, 96% of respondents said the app made them feel more at EASE and the average overall rating was 9.65 out of 10.


Who will send the updates?
The hospital will designate a clinical staff member (generally a circulating nurse) to keep the family updated throughout the procedure on their loved one. These nurses are trained on the process for sending updates, as well as appropriate information (texts, photos, videos) to send. The updates are sent form iPods provided by the hospital.


How often will the clinical staff send updates?
Updates will occur at the discretion of the clinical staff. The sender app includes functionality to remind the sender when 30 minutes have passed since the last update, but does not require an update be sent at any specific intervals.


Who can receive updates?
The Patient/Consenting Authority can add additional recipients to receive updates on the surgery. During the registration process they simply select them from their contacts and a pre-made text invitation is sent to recipients with instructions to join in the updates. Once these individuals are selected nobody else can be added.


Can family members communicate back with the person sending messages?
No. EASE is one-way communication from the clinical staff member to the recipients.


Is the EASE app safe?
EASE uses 256-bit encryption to protect all communications when they are on the devices or traveling over the internet. This is the same level of security banks and credit cards use to protect information. EASE also abides by the same health care regulations (HIPAA and HITECH) that the hospital uses to keep patients’ protected health information safe.


Is anything saved on the family member’s device?
No. All texts, photos, and videos disappear after 60 seconds of viewing them. Nothing is saved on the device. In addition, once a procedure is complete, the updates on the sender device are deleted.


What if a family member takes a screenshot of the update and forwards it to other recipients?

Screen shots are a basic function of all smartphones and cannot be disabled. The Consent for EASE includes a clause that informs the patient that once a recipient receives information through EASE, Orlando Health cannot control how that information is used by the recipient. Orlando Health and its medical staff and employees are not liable for how that information may be distributed.


What happens if something goes wrong during the procedure?

EASE is not meant to interfere with the surgical process. If something goes wrong, the clinical staff will focus on the patient and work to correct the problem. It is not a live video stream, so the clinical staff chooses when to update the family members. EASE should never be used to send updates describing an adverse event. Once the issue is resolved, clinicians will update the family in person or continue to use EASE.

March 21, 2016