Intravenous medication administration can cause anxiety, rejection, and misunderstanding in underage patients, despite good care from professionals. These factors add to the suffering inherent in the pathology due to the loss of quality of life and the long stays that children have to spend in the hospital. In this sense, Vall d’Hebron University Hospital has made a firm commitment for years to humanize the treatment of patients and offer them the highest quality of life and well-being. Vall d’Hebron will now implement Superbox boxes to cover chemotherapies, serums, transfusions and other medications. Patients can decide which illustrations will decorate the boxes. In an early phase of the project, the boxes are being used in pediatric oncology patients. Its use will then be extended to other pediatric and adult patients receiving this type of treatment.
As Dr. Pablo Velasco, of the Pediatric Oncology and Hematology Service at Vall d'Hebron University Hospital and co-promoter of the Superbox project, explains: “doctors, nurses, parents and other relatives saw that when children come to receive treatment with serum or chemotherapy, for example, many are worried because they know that they will have to be punctured and that they will have to be treated for hours”. For this reason, adds Eunice Blanco, Social Work Coordinator of the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital and co-promoter of the project, “we thought of creating a coverage for patients' serums with personalized and motivating illustrations that would transform the negative perception of admission and treatment, for the hope that the medication and the stay in the hospital will give them the necessary strength to improve their state of health”.
Totally safe medical equipment
For the development of this project, the methodology of Design Thinking has been followed, which has demonstrated its success in the generation of innovative solutions in the healthcare environment. In this way, profiles are integrated that contribute with different interdisciplinary perspectives and generate an added value in the process of ideation and design. That is why doctors, social workers, nurses, psychooncologists and engineers have participated in the Superbox project to develop the design and ensure that it meets the requirements of a healthcare team. The boxes are made of a safe, environmentally friendly, 100% recyclable and resistant to sterilization plastic. "Ensuring maximum security is one of the keys to this project,explains Dr. Pablo Velasco–. Superbox boxes allow the healthcare professionals to safely handle serum bags. On the back they are uncovered, which allows their correct identification, manipulation and monitoring. In this way, in addition, the main added value of these boxes is preserved: humanization. Because they can be personalized, children enjoy something that used to cause them anxiety and pain”.
The voice of patients and families
One of the most relevant phases in the implementation of this project has been the realization of a focus group, i.e. the implementation of the boxes in a small group of children to carry out a pre-implementation evaluation in the Pediatric Oncology and Hematology Service. As Eunice Blanco points out, “we have valued the project quantitatively with surveys of patients, relatives and professionals and qualitatively through a focus group that measures the experience of children through the scientific method. Both the children and the parents and professionals have valued them very positively”.
On the other hand, Superbox Think Tank has also been set up, “a group of professionals with an innovative profile such as social workers, doctors, nurses, psychologists, professionals from the Pharmacy Service, professionals from the Preventive Medicine service and the Blood Bank, parents and engineers to continuously evaluate the patient experience and update the boxes if necessary”, explains Dr. Pablo Velasco.
Positive messages to transform the negative experience of treatment
In the patient experience groups organized during the design of the Superbox boxes, it was found that each patient has a different motivation to cover their medication with an illustration that excites him/her. His/her family, his/her pet, his/her football team, or his/her favorite singer are some of the reasons that help patients find the strength to cope with difficult times in the administration of medication in the hospital. At other times, patients prefer to express their sadness or discomfort, emotions that can be conveyed through the illustrations.
"Every little win is a success", "Together we make a great team", "Let's go, you're doing more than well". These are some of the texts with the design of Mr. Wonderful that they give positive and strong messages to patients while receiving treatment. Messages that go hand in hand with cute drawings such as hearts, astronauts and animals, which aim to arouse a smile in children. These are exclusive designs by Mr. Wonderful for Superbox covers. The selection of sentences and illustrations has been done by three age groups to best connect with the children. Thus, the designs are classified into three groups: between 0 and 6 years, with more childish drawings and less text; between 6 and 12 years; and over 12, with more text.
Eunice Blanco explains that this project has been possible thanks to the large Superbox family. "Without all of them we would not have gotten this far and, therefore, we want to recognize their generosity and professionalism. We also want to return this gratitude to our patients. The profits from Superbox will go towards the search for childhood leukemia, for all of them and for the smiles of all those who are no longer here”.
The company Vecmedical has been responsible for the development and manufacture of the boxes. The Anima Foundation (Olga Adell and Ferran Martínez) has also collaborated in a very important way. An essential part of the project has been the participation of different illustrators such as: Mr. Wonderful (Laura de Luque), Chispum Studio (Javier Royo and Idoya García de Cortázar), Ignasi Blanch, KeilaElm, Pilarín Bayés, Eduard Bertran, @inyetbook, Manel & Marc, Josep Bel, Irene González and AFANOC. The photographers who provided the images were Toni Soriano, Marina Cano and Pere Soler. Miki Núñez and his team (Global Talent Services Universal Music) have put music to the project. Donations from individuals such as Francesc Ribalta and María del Carmen Sánchez (in memory of Francisco Sánchez Olmos and Emilia Conesa Martínez) have also contributed to the project. Karine Fric, Noemí García and companies such as copyist Pelegrín, Miaportación, Vygon and Baxter have been fundamental in getting this far. Celebrities such as Ferran Martínez, Rosalía, Marc Márquez, Alex Márquez, Dulceida, Darko Peric and Oriol Bonet of Love of Lesbian have donated their images to motivate patients.