Children at Sanford Children's Hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D., are smiling a little more often now thanks to Zoo TV, a program recently started to relieve hospitalized children's stress and anxiety.
With 14 weatherproof cameras set up to shoot live video from the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, Zoo TV offers children a chance to view tigers, monkeys, giraffes and other animals in their habitats. A ticker running across the bottom of the screen makes it possible for them to learn interesting facts about the animals they're watching.
"The program has been very positive for the children and the hospital," Jan Haugen-Rogers, vice president of children's services at Sanford, tells Health Facilities Management's sister magazine, Hospitals & Health Networks.
A similar program is under way at the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. Hospitalized children there can watch penguins and other marine animals at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The hospital only spends about $200 a month for the program because Packard utilizes the aquarium's existing Web camera, says Susan M. Gray, the hospital's administrative project director.
At the T. Denny Sanford Pediatric Center, part of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., Web access in the lobby allows patients and visitors to watch live video feeds of wild animals from the Minnesota Zoo.