Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Wi-Fi Keeps Patients and Families Connected

Wi-Fi Keeps Patients and Families Connected: "The availability of such a wireless network comes at a time when people are increasingly connected 24/7, even in a hospital. Georgetown is one of 150 hospitals using CaringBridge, a nonprofit organization started in 1997 that offers a free Web service connecting 20 million families yearly. CaringBridge now has more than 150,000 personalized Web sites for people dealing with major health conditions. According to CaringBridge, the site is not accessible via search engines, and it's the first such free online service for people facing a serious health condition.

Kim said CaringBridge 'has been a nice service to have because the caregiver is very busy. They don't have time to answer phone calls all the time. They don't have to receive phone calls all the time.' Patients often post pictures and notes after they've left the hospital, she said. 'We can keep up with patients that have been discharged, are going home, and doing well.'GeorgetownPatient

Georgetown's Kim said the hospital’s childlife department loans out laptops when a family doesn’t have a computer handy. 'There's also one in the family room and one in the playroom,' she said. According to Kim, kids often stay busy playing Webkinz, the virtual online pet game, while parents are working.

Kim said the hospital also has Webcams available, allowing bedside videoconferencing as well . "

What a great idea !

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