A growing number of U.S. hospitals are installing Internet systems equipped with dedicated shopping channels, hospital information and patient education links in patient rooms, the New York Times reports. Because of the systems’ high costs, the Times notes that the number of hospitals equipped with these systems remains just “a small fraction” of the nation’s roughly 6,000 community hospitals. Those hospitals investing in the technology, however, anticipate that patients and visitors who have Web access “will be happier, less prone to bother nurses, and more likely to arm themselves with health care information that can help smooth the patient’s recovery.” For example, Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago last year spent an undisclosed sum for Raleigh-based TeleHealth Services to install 42-inch flat-screen televisions and Internet connections near each of the 200 beds in its new women’s hospital, with screens large enough to enable patients to read and navigate Web pages using a remote control keyboard and mouse. The system’s welcome page features four links including one for the TV, one for the Web, one for hospital information, and one for medical education that links to more than 1,000 pages of condition-specific information and videos. Meanwhile, Bethesda, Md.-based GetWellNetwork—which has installed Internet systems in roughly 50 hospitals—is piloting in two hospitals an online shopping system that provides patients with a tailored checklist of medical products they will need when they are discharged and schedules deliveries in accordance with a patient’s expected discharge date. Recognizing that it is often hospital visitors that bear the primary caretaker responsibilities for a patient’s home care, the CEO of health care and technology consulting company Klas Enterprises suggests that the Internet systems are also valuable for visitors (Tedeschi, New York Times, 3/17/08).