July 21, 2023
OAK BLUFFS, MA – COVID-19 taught us a lot.
In healthcare, it taught us that providing quality care doesn’t necessarily need to be in person.
At Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, a program piloted during the COVID-19 pandemic using digital tools is expanding thanks to the diligence of Ian Campbell, Director, Rehab & Wellness at the hospital.
The hospital, which has been using two mobile iPad carts to communicate with patients in acute care, will now have 21 – one for each room.
Even after COVID, the iPads continue to be an invaluable tool for hospital staff and support service providers such as social workers, case managers and specialty consultants, allowing them access to patients without needing to be on site.
“This will make a huge difference in multiple ways,” says Patty Parker, RN, Director of Care Coordination.
This enhanced communication tool benefits the patient and their family, allowing them greater access to all members of their care team, whether they’re on site or not.
Here’s how it works:
A staff member will ring a doorbell on the iPad to alert the patient about an incoming call. There is no access to the room without the doorbell signal and nobody will be entering the room through the iPad during patient care time. This is to ensure privacy.
When the doorbell sounds, care team members have remote access to the patient and families can be added to the call if necessary to hear everything at the same time the patient is hearing from hospital staff.
Additionally, there’s no need for patients or staff to touch the iPad screen, ensuring safe and sanitary conditions.
MVH has both the iPads and carts and is expecting to roll out the program in Acute Care by the end of July. Once the new mobile iPad carts are up and wheeling in Acute Care, MVH has plans to get additional carts for the emergency department and maternity, as well as having spare carts available in case any breakdown.