Children’s Hospital Now Offers Patients “Driving Experience”

August 16, 2018

Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital Unveils New Mode of Patient Transportation


Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health (BKO) today unveiled a new mode of patient transportation designed to improve the patient experience and ensure hospital stays are fun and exciting for young patients. The new remote-controlled vehicle will allow young patients to “drive” through the halls of the hospital for various diagnostics and procedures.


The first of a new fleet of vehicles, a Jeep Wrangler model, was introduced today. The Jeep was purchased by Navicent Health’s Digital Innovation Group, a team of information technology professionals who seek new ways to implement technology in order to improve patient care and the patient experience at Navicent Health.


“Our Information Technology team works diligently to find creative technology solutions for patient engagement. Our Digital Innovation Group focused their attention on new ways to transport children, and we are pleased with their solution. While the wagons used in the past were a great first step, we believe the remote-controlled cars will be a fun and exciting way to improve each child’s experience,” said Omer Awan, Chief Information Officer for Navicent Health.


The remote-controlled vehicles can accommodate patients weighing up to 100 pounds. Using a 12-volt rechargeable battery, the vehicles may be controlled using the steering wheel and pedal, or by using a remote control. At BKO, all vehicles will be controlled by remote as staff members guide patients through the halls while still simulating a driving experience. The intent is to calm children and allay their fears by offering a fun mode of transportation to and from procedures and diagnostic testing. 


“At Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital, we are very cognizant of the fact that children aren’t just small adults. We go out of our way to ensure each child has a great experience at our hospital, and this new mode of patient transportation will help us achieve that goal. We are so thankful to our staff as well as the community for their support of this project,” said Missi Upshaw, Pediatric Director and Project Manager for BKO. 


Thanks to the generosity of a local donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, BKO will soon offer a full fleet of vehicles for its patients.


“Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health has always relied on philanthropic support. We are grateful to our anonymous local donor for bringing us this idea, and to our Digital Innovation Group for assisting with the implementation. Each gift made to the Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital campaign will be an investment not only in the children of today, but for the generations to come,” said Ellen Terrell, Chief Development Officer for Navicent Health Foundation.


Since 1987, BKO has relied upon the generosity of donors who support its mission to deliver high quality, reasonably priced pediatric services to the region’s youngest patients. For more information on supporting BKO, please visit


In the attached photos – Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health patient Landon Holland of Barnesville, Ga. becomes the first patient to test drive the hospital’s new remote-controlled vehicle for patient transports. In photo 3, Child Life Specialist Heather Trescott explains the vehicle’s features, including the horn and radio,  to Landon.


About Navicent Health
Navicent Health was incorporated on November 17, 1994, as a nonprofit corporation whose primary purpose is to coordinate The Medical Center, Navicent Health and other affiliated entities in their mission of providing a comprehensive continuum of high quality, reasonably priced healthcare services to the region. Navicent Health has 970 beds for medical, surgical, rehabilitation and hospice purposes. The health system includes The Medical Center, Navicent Health, a nationally recognized tertiary teaching hospital; Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health, the region’s only dedicated pediatric hospital; Navicent Health Baldwin and Medical Center of Peach County, Navicent Health, both rural hospitals; Rehabilitation Hospital, Navicent Health, the region’s oldest and most experienced rehabilitation provider; Pine Pointe, Navicent Health, which provides palliative and hospice care in homes and in its facility; Carlyle Place, Navicent Health, the area’s first continuing care retirement community;  Navicent Health Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Navicent Health; as well as diagnostic and home care services. For more information, please visit