We recently saw a video featuring an adorable beagle who helps return lost items to forgetful passengers on KLM airlines in Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport. This got us thinking – could this same concept be applied to the hospital setting, where patients and families routinely leave behind blankets, books, and other personal items following a hospital stay. Certainly the benefits of therapy animals are well documented. Could a lost-and-found dog serve a dual purpose of delighting patients and families even while reuniting them with their belongings? Could a dog even track the scent of patients who often leave the hospital via wheelchair?
We reached out to the Director of the Bronson Experience, Nancy Radcliff, RN at Bronson Healthcare in Kalamazoo, MI to assess the feasibility. Bronson routinely embraces cutting edge innovations and has a can-do culture of employees who tend to find a way to make the unexpected happen. Nancy’s response was enthusiastic, if not optimistic. “Love the idea,” she said. “Unfortunately we find most things after people leave the hospital!! I can even think of a name: “Bronson Retriever.”
Okay, so a KLM-style puppy may not be in the cards for most hospitals (though we have not given up hope). But innovative ideas are everywhere, and there are many lessons to be learned from even the most unexpected industries. What ideas has your health system appropriated, adapted, or made your own?