McLane Children’s Hospital of Texas recently became the first children’s hospital in the country to bring family and friends closer to their ailing child with the help of an in-room patient video technology called iCareConnectTM.
Staying in touch is very important for a child and their parents, especially if the child is in the hospital for an extended period of time, says Temple, Texas-based McLane Children’s Hospital, which is part of Baylor Scott & White Health.
“We understand that some of our patients and their family members have to be separated at times due to work or other reasons, so we wanted to give them an opportunity to stay connected if they couldn’t be at the hospital,” says John Boyd, MD, president and chief medical officer of McLane Children’s Hospital and Clinics.
iCareConnect– a HIPAA-compliant tool – uses a webcam, the in-room TV and the telephone – to provide the child with virtual visits with family and friends who are unable to come to the hospital.
The new technology is an add-on to the hospital’s already functional interactive patient system called Skylight Healthcare System that allows patients to watch health education videos or movies, play video games, browse the internet, order meals and ask for help, via their TV monitor.
McLane Children’s 30,000-square-mile service area includes Fort Hood, where families and patients may have parents deployed in Afghanistan.
If these soldiers have sick children in the hospital, they are going to want to see them, says Ellen Hansen, chief operating officer and chief nursing officer for McLane Children’s Hospital. Parents can even connect with the physicians when they make their rounds and take part in the discussion.
iCareConnect also allows hospitalized children to attend virtual classroom where they can listen to their teachers and ask questions via Skype.
Jaylee Hilliard, director of patient and family support services at McLane Children’s says this is very normal for hospitalized children to yearn to see and talk with their loved ones.
“With this new tool, we hope it will help provide additional support for children who are recovering in the hospital,” she concludes.