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Outcomes

Helping Patients Stay Connected When Family and Friends Can’t Visit the Hospital

Patients at Mayo Clinic use MyChart Bedside tablets equipped with video chat software to talk with family, friends, and providers

Patients in the hospital at Mayo Clinic use tablets with the MyChart Bedside application and video chat software to stay connected to both their care teams and their loved ones, even when visits are limited to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

To help patients’ loved ones stay connected while they can’t visit in person, Mayo Clinic added video chat software to patient tablets that were already equipped with MyChart Bedside. Patients can use the tablets to catch up with people outside the hospital, and providers can use them during check-ins to provide a patient’s family members with a first-hand picture of a patient’s condition.

Chad Weiler, a registered nurse at Mayo Clinic, described a situation in which he made a video call for a patient who was on life support.

“It helped the patient’s son emotionally,” Weiler said. “He could see how ill his mother was. It helped him in making decisions and working with the health care team as to what his mother would want.”

Patients can also use the tablets to see what’s next in their hospital stay, such as any upcoming procedures. Providers use video chat to check in on patients who are in isolation, reducing clinical trips in and out of a highly infectious area.

“The current situation is challenging, but it has offered us the chance to be innovative in how we meet our patients’ needs,” said Dr. Chris Colby, Mayo’s medical director for Bedside.

Read more from Mayo Clinic. Epic community members can learn more about Bedside features that are useful in response to COVID-19 in the Managing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) With Epic white paper, which is updated regularly with recommended build and workflows.