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A Shift in Healthcare Delivery: Virtual Patient Communication

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused healthcare systems to learn more about isolation and how it affects patients and their quality of care. Not only are patients physically removed from their loved ones, the people they interact with, their care team, present themselves hidden behind sterile personal protective equipment (PPE) that hides nonverbal expressions that would normally offer patients comfort and assurance.

To address the problem and improve patient care and experience, hospitals are adopting means of virtual patient communication through mobile tablets.  Virtual communication with the medical care team is another advantage that's transforming healthcare delivery.

 
Bringing patients and their loved ones together.

By utilizing a Patient Virtual Presence Tablet, patients and their families are able to connect and engage, despite visitor restrictions or isolation orders. Our rugged healthcare cases for Surface and iPad have an easel attached, providing effortless viewing for patients who are too weak to hold a tablet while communicating with loved ones over Zoom or FaceTime. Additionally, our cases are designed to be easily mounted to wheeled healthcare carts, which can be rolled into an isolated patient's room.

MobileDemand recently deployed 300 healthcare iPad 10.2" cases to Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (DHS) facilities including Harbor-UCLA Medical Center to help facilitate patient-family communication.

DHS Director, Dr. Christina Gahly shared this testament, "The engagement of loved ones during hospitalization has shown to improve clinical outcomes...the generous donations by the Annenberg Foundation and MobileDemand will help support this critical element of our patients’ care.”

Since receiving the iPads and rugged cases, a spokesperson from Harbor-UCLA Medical Center shared these patient experiences:

A non-COVID patient was not able to speak to his family for two days since he was admitted. When we asked if he'd like to speak to his family using a tablet, he was skeptical about it. However, after visiting with his sister and mother, his entire attitude changed and he appeared much more relaxed. We had a follow-up call with his sister and she expressed how grateful she was to speak with and see her brother via the tablet.

One of our positive COVID-19 patients is intubated, on dialysis, and not conscious. It was incredibly touching to observe the family have the chance to see their loved one, but the truly amazing impact was on the patient who opened his eyes in response to hearing the voices of his wife and daughter over the tablet.

Seeing the caregiver behind the mask.

Medical staff also experience the benefits of a Virtual Presence Tablet by having the ability to deliver personalized care while reducing their own chance of exposure. For example, a nurse or provider can check in with an isolated patient at the nursing station via the tablet – seeing smiles and expressions of understanding and reassurance provides a more personal, human-centered experience. Some additional benefits of using rugged tablet cases as part of a Virtual Presence Tablet include:

  • Help ration PPE by limiting the number of staff members who enter isolated patients' rooms.
  • Provide on-demand access for patient consultations with pharmacists, dietitians, interpreters, and other multidisciplinary services.
  • Improve end-of-life experience by ensuring the families of patients in critical condition can be quickly contacted and brought to the patient's bedside virtually in their final moments.
  • Avoid personnel shortages by allowing more providers to participate in care remotely.

 

MobileDemand's suite of rugged technology includes mobile tablets, protective cases, integrated barcode scanners, mounts, easels, and other accessories that will empower providers and front-line staff to offer personalized care alongside patients. Learn more about our mobile healthcare solutions.

 

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