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A Great Falls hospital uses iPads to keep patients connected to loved ones

Posted at 8:32 AM, Apr 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-12 10:32:55-04

With restrictons on visitors to hospitals, the staff at Benefis Health System turned to technology to keep their patient connected with loved ones.

Patients can now use iPads to spend virtual time with their family members, allowing them to see each other face-to-(virtual)-face.

David Krebs, Benefis Senior Services COO, says this time together is priceless. "It was very different in the beginning because they are looking at someone on their TV screen on a screen in front of them. But to watch their smiles, their giggles, their laughter it's priceless."

But this was already a plan for them all along. Benefis just had to add some extra power: "Back in the first part of March when COVID started coming into Montana, we had plans for what we're going to do for restricting visitors of that nature. And then talking about how we are going to keep our residents and patients in touch with their families and loved ones, and we had heard about using iPads. So we talked to our IT department, and they boosted up our bandwidth, so we don't have streaming problems."

He explained, "We schedule times with the residents and their families, so they are ready for us to call. Something we didn't think about is some of the residents are 95 years old, and so their kids are 70 and hadn't set up for any time of Facetime, things of that nature. So when you get directions to them and how to set their computers up."