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Top 5 Ways to Comfort Patients with Video Games in Children’s Hospitals

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Video games can integrate easily and seamlessly at any hospital or clinic. Whether your patients are in a waiting room, on an in-patient stay, or receiving a treatment, video games can provide entertainment and distraction when they need it most. During Fully Loaded Electronics' 10+ years integrating video games in hospitals, we’ve learned how video games work best to bring smiles to both patients and staff.

Video games have evolved from an occasional solitary pastime to a stimulating and highly social daily adventure. Video games have woven themselves into the fabric of our lives via PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, tablets, virtual reality equipment, and even our phones. Nowadays, patients and their families expect video games any time they need to wait. More and more hospitals have added the enchantment of video games to their toolbox of methods to entertain, distract and soothe patients and their families.

There are a number of ways video games can be enjoyed in a hospital setting. Here are the Top 5 ways hospitals have been using video games over the last 10 years.

Top 5 Ways Video Games Work in Hospitals

  1. Arcade on Wheels: Share one gaming system among many rooms or multiple departments with a mobile gaming cart. For example, the Fully Loaded Electronics Arcade II mobile gaming cart can house any Xbox, PlayStation or Nintendo Switch. Including a 24" TV, wired controllers and a console loaded with a variety of games, this hospital favorite is literally an arcade on wheels. For pediatric patients it’s good to have one video game cart for every 10-15 beds. Video game systems can be loaded with games for kids and teens, where all the games are rated E for Everybody. There’s no need for set-up, internet, or disk games. Simply roll your gaming system to a patient and their family, plug it in, and it’s ready to play!
    FLE Arcade II Mobile Gaming Cart
  2. Handheld Distraction: If you need to ask a patient to wait for 15 minutes or longer or if you have a patient undergoing a non-invasive procedure, a handheld video game system can provide just the right amount of distraction and entertainment. Tablets like iPads and Kindles can come loaded with games and even movies. You can check them out to patients or secure them to an anchor point (like furniture) using an industrial-grade tether. Other great handheld options are the Nintendo Switch and the Switch Lite. Both can be loaded with age-appropriate games so they’re ready to play! There’s no need to for set-up, internet or game cartridges.
  3. Make Waiting Rooms Fun: Install a video game system and TV in a waiting room for instant entertainment. Video game systems can be installed on wall using a security case, so your system is attractively mounted and protected from tampering and theft. I recommend using wired controllers as well. Security cases and wired controllers can all be wiped down with hospital-grade cleansers to keep the system germ-free. Video game systems can be loaded with age-appropriate games and also movies. I recommend including a few movies on video game systems in waiting rooms so families can relax and pass the time enjoying an exciting new movie or a comforting classic.
  4. Playroom Game Time: Playrooms are a great place to provide video games for solo play, or for several patients to play together and build friendships. Video game systems can be loaded with kids’ games for a playroom for younger children, teen games for a teen room, or a mix of games for a shared play area. I recommend mounting the gaming system with a security case to prevent tampering. I also recommend two wired controllers per gaming console, plus additional wireless controllers in case 3 or more patients want to play.
  5. In-Patient Room Amenity: Make a hospital room feel like a living room with a built-in video game system. Video game systems loaded with games and already plugged into the TV distract patients from the reason for their stay, provide entertainment, and also offer a way to bond and play with parents, siblings or other visitors.

Hospitals with Video Game Systems Report Higher Patient Satisfaction Scores

Child Life Specialists report that preloaded video games help patients and their families have better experiences at the hospital. This translates into higher patient satisfaction scores. Here’s what some experts in child life have to say:

Our pediatric patients (and their families) LOVE using the fully loaded electronics. It brings a sense of normalcy and fun to the hospital environment. The fully loaded systems are amazing because we don’t have to keep track of games! It’s one less thing for us to lose. These systems truly do make a difference for our patients during their hospital stays and I appreciate our partnership with Fully Loaded Electronics. Thank you!

- Janet Grom, CCLS, Banner Children's, AZ


EXCELLENT! This has really enhanced the patient experience and patient satisfaction. Staff and families love the variety and ease of use. They don't have to wait for staff to get them games or movies. The FLE staff were fabulous to work with. They gave us great tips and suggestions and really let us customize our machines to our specific populations. These gaming systems can even be added to 'wish lists' like Child's Play!

- Beth Christian, Child Life, Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon


We utilize fully loaded every single day to help bring brightness and joy to our PICU and oncology patients. Our staff also loves fully loaded because our staff knows how much the video game console helps kids feel more at home even though they can’t go home yet and allows them to feel like a kid for the time being.

- Ryan Lohr, Child Life, Inova Health System, VA


Managing the Games is Easy

Video games bring smiles to both patients and staff. Busy, germ-averse hospital staff have avoided video game systems for years due to the hassle and hygiene concerns around disk games. This is no longer an issue! We provide video game systems already loaded with age-appropriate games on the hard drive. There are no disks or cartridges to manage. Patients love having a video game system just like they enjoy at home, and staff appreciate that the gaming system is an all-in-one solution to keep patients entertained and occupied for long or short waits.

Where to Get a Video Game System with Games?

While video game systems and disks can be found at any big-box store, Fully Loaded Electronics is the only place to buy video game systems loaded with games and calibrated for a hospital setting. Fully Loaded Electronics specializes in loading video game systems with appropriate games for each customer, and then adjusting the settings to prevent tampering and comply with patient privacy regulations. Video game systems can be set up for online multiplayer gaming, or they can be set up to be offline and never require internet. Founded in 2007, we are proud to have provided tens of thousands of video game systems to hundreds of hospitals across the United States.

We’re Happy to Help!

We invite you to call or email with any questions. We’re happy to help you determine what game system, games and accessories will best fit your hospital and players. And we customize! You are not limited to the game bundles on our website. We’re happy to work with you to build a package that fits your needs and your budget.

Browse FLE bundles of products and services here.

Call us at (425) 582-3173 between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm Pacific time.

Email us any time at CustomerCare@FullyLoadedElectronics.com.

 Shelly Lee founded Fully Loaded Electronics with her husband in 2007 and has helped hundreds of hospitals, hotels, libraries, and other clients to deliver seamless, easy, and fun video game experiences in public spaces. Shelly knows video games provide important community, entertainment and distraction, and she’s committed to helping public spaces and their staff deliver these benefits to visitors of all ages. Shelly’s 10+ years in the health care video game industry have made her a resource for all of the top 25 children’s hospitals in the United States, as well as major charities including Make-A-Wish, Child’s Play Charity, Gamers Outreach, StackUp and more. Shelly holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Washington.

Connect with Shelly on LinkedIn.

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