VISALIA, Calif. (KGPE) — Kaweah Delta Medical Center in Visalia has started lending iPads to patients so they can video chat with loved ones.
This new concept comes after the medical center implemented a no-visitor policy on Wednesday.
“There are some of our patients that are low-income patients, so they may only have a flip phone, they may not have a smartphone to be able to do that, but their family members do,” said Kaweah Delta IT Service Delivery Manager Daniel Baker.
When they’re finished, the staff cleans the iPad and clears the history so it’s ready for the next patient.
“It does really create an issue for them not being able to see their loved ones, so I think the iPad can really bridge that gap for them,” said Baker.
On Friday, a patient got the chance to talk to her family just before going into open-heart surgery.
“The nurse was there holding the iPad in front of the grandmother that was laying in the bed. There was a whole bunch of family members all around them, so it was a really touching moment,” said Baker.
Kaweah Delta is relaxing its video and photo policy to allow for this, although there are still some restrictions. The iPads can’t be used in the emergency department, at the mental health hospital, or while babies are being delivered.
Baker says in addition to the 30 iPads the medical center already has there are 30 more in order to be delivered next week just in case they need more.