Lowcountry Strong: Hospital creates virtual carts to connect isolated patients with family

Updated: Apr. 16, 2020 at 6:59 AM EDT
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SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - During this time of isolation, staff at Summerville Medical Center came up with an idea to help even their non-COVID patients connect with family members.

The hospital, like many others, has a no-visitor policy due to COVID-19 precautions. The new carts have Apple TV, an iPhone and video conferencing technology using the application, WebX.

“We’re rolling these out so the patients can still meet with their families and have that face-to-face connection," Summerville Medical Center IT Director David Campbell said.

Right now there are five virtual carts in the medical/surgical unit and the intensive care unit at Summerville Medical Center.

“In addition to the patient being able to speak with their family and friends...our clinical staff also has the ability of interacting with the patient," Campbell said.

The healthcare staff regularly checks on patients in-person but this is another way to connect outside of their regular rounds.

One patient, Jane Waitt, has been in the medical/surgical unit for the last few days and was one of the first people to use the new, virtual carts.

“It was a delightful experience,” Waitt said. “I think this is a very great idea so that people can communicate with each other though being separated. We love each other and we would like to be with each other.”

Healthcare workers at the hospital can help patients set up the video chat and they send detailed instructions to family members. Up to four phone lines can join the video chat at one time.

If you know someone or a group of people making the Lowcountry a better place during this time, you can tell us about it by filling out this form. You can also email Abbey O’Brien at aobrien@live5news.com and you might see them recognized on Live5News.

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