Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust through its charity, QE Charitable Funds, has bought a new digital device that will revolutionise the recovery process for patients in critical care. The device called Rehabilitation and Interactive Therapy Activities (RITA) is specifically designed for bedside delirium prevention and cognitive rehabilitation support with the aim to enhance the wellbeing and communication of patients and their carers in Critical Care (ITU). This state-of-the-art equipment offers a comprehensive suite of interactive activities and therapy tools that stimulate patients, improve their mood and promotes overall wellbeing, all accessible from the comfort of their bedside.
RITA has been seamlessly integrated into critical care units, where it has already shown remarkable results. During the initial trial period, four patients had the opportunity to explore the device’s features, and feedback on its use has been very positive from both patients, relatives and staff due to the multiple benefits it provides. This user-friendly device combines entertainment and therapy to help patients recall and share their memories, improve communication with their families and staff, and alleviate boredom.
With a wide range of apps and tools, RITA provides a personalised entertainment experience for patients. From music and movies to games and quizzes, RITA offers over 150 films, hundreds of songs, videos, books, and quizzes from various time periods, ensuring an individualised and engaging experience for every patient. Beyond combating boredom, RITA offers numerous additional benefits. It helps prevent delirium, promotes calmness and relaxation, encourages patients to open up to staff, provides educational materials, and even encourages exercise. These benefits extend to the staff as well, as RITA improves communication with patients, promotes their preferences and interests, reduces stress, and aids in staff retention and morale.
Specialist nurse for critical care rehabilitation Susie Chrystal, expressed her enthusiasm for RITA, stating, “We are really enjoying using the RITA device as it’s a new innovative way of working, allowing us to interact more with patients and see them enjoy themselves by watching films and listening to music. It boosts both patient and staff morale and is a great addition that makes patients stay in critical care, which can be very difficult a little bit nicer.”
Critical care staff nurse Lisa Weatherspoon also shared her experience with RITA, saying, “I was delighted to watch a patient engage with the new RITA device. He interacted with the buttons, played games, and listened to music, and he was so relaxed. Seeing him in such a state of calmness made me feel incredibly happy, as a relaxed environment aids in patient recovery.”
With RITA’s innovative features, such as a 360-degree camera, coordination games, translation functions for multilingual patients and a pain mapping feature, Critical Care within the QE Hospital in Gateshead is revolutionising the way patients experience therapy and entertainment in critical care units.