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Donated tablets allow Toronto hospitals to safely connect patients with their families

Hospital staff worked quickly to install communications apps on the tablets so people can see and speak with hospitalized family members who cannot receive visitors.
By: Alison Larabie Chase
May 22, 2020
UHN staff load communications apps onto the donated tablets. Photo: UHN.

Normally, family members can be physically present to help and support patients at the three hospitals in Toronto’s University Health Network (UHN). But visitors have been severely curtailed during the COVID-19 pandemic, so hospital staff have had to find other ways to help families connect with their patients. They were thrilled to receive 125 donated tablets through the Network’s foundations, and quickly set to work programming them with communications apps and figuring out the best ways to properly disinfect the devices between uses.

Now, family members can regularly video chat with loved ones who are being treated in hospital. It’s been a lifeline for people like Brenda Sears-Anderson, whose mother has dementia and is recovering from COVID-19 at Toronto Western Hospital. Before the tablet solution was implemented, they had not seen each other for four weeks, but now they virtually “have dinner” together daily.

Source: University Health Network

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