Web Therapy - Enhancing Patient Communication with Web Access

 By Laura & Janet Greenwald


According to Jennifer Lyons’ chart, she’s just a bad MVA who’s lucky enough to be on her way to a full recovery.

But to Jennifer, hospitalized with a broken mandible and broken limbs, nothing could be further from the truth.  Jen who had the accident while on an out-of-town business trip, is lying in a bed two thousand miles away from her family.  Although her husband is flying in later tonight, Jennifer has never felt more disconnected from her life.  That is, until her nurse points out the screen standing next to her bed.  Even though she can’t move her mouth, two minutes later, Jennifer is catching up with her children.

Two floors down, Rebecca Forrester is also lying in bed with no family members around her. She’s in her eighties and the fall she took is already developing a complication – pneumonia.  Her daughter, working in Tokyo, will take a day to get to her side – a day Rebecca may not have.  With no telephones in this ICU, Rebecca knows if her daughter doesn’t make it to her in time, she may never be able to speak to her again.  Until a nurses’ aide enters with a wireless tablet.  A minute later, Rebecca and her daughter are talking.

In a growing number of hospitals nationwide, hooking up your patients has taken on a whole new meaning.  Whether via tablets or bedside consoles, patient Internet access is revolutionizing patient care and patient communication. 

Originally conceived as a way to reduce boredom and facilitate patient education, the units quickly began to add other features including relaxation videos, local TV channels, video games and telephones, besides videos and information patients can access on specific healthcare issues. Feedback is already showing what medical professionals have suspected for years -- people simply feel better when they’re active and connected with the world around them.  

But for the patients, it’s all about facilitating communication whenever they need it – with loved ones, with friends or even with work.  Just because someone is hospitalized doesn’t mean they have to be isolated.  For Jennifer Lyons, being able to communicate with her children means everything.  Not only does she feel connected, but because she can check in with them a few times a day, she feels more able to relax knowing that everything is fine at home. 

And technology doesn’t stop there.  Doctors are now using Twitter to keep families apprised of patient’s progress during surgery.  Smartphones are also creating ways for nurses to immediately send messages, video or images to loved ones who might not make it quickly enough to the bedside of critically ill patients. 

As for Rebecca, she didn’t fare as well.  The pneumonia took hold and her daughter was unable to get to the hospital quickly enough to be with her before she passed away.  But with Skype and a little help from her nurses’ aide, Rebecca and her daughter spent the rest of the day talking, sharing memories and making sure they said everything to each other, that they wanted to say.   

And to them, that made all the difference. 

Using the internet to help your patients communicate is just ONE way to increase patient safety, health and satisfaction while reducing liability.  

We have many more in our book Notify In 7.

Notify In 7 is filled with tools you and your hospital staff can use to facilitate NOK notification, patient identification and communication. 


If you want to create change throughout your entire facility, our Six Sigma based, HIPAA-friendly, “Creating A Next of Kin Notification Program” has everything you need to roll out the Seven Steps facility-wide.  The Program includes patient tracking workflows, tools and training materials, based on Notify In 7.  It provides your Emergency Department staff, managers and Risk Management professionals with comprehensive training, giving you and your hospital a fully operational Next of Kin Notification System in ninety days. 


Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Notify In 7 - Creating A Next of Kin Notification System - Paperback Edition by Laura & Janet Greenwald   $24.95

This includes the spiral bound edition of Creating A Next of Kin Notification System.  

This edition comes with downloadable Chart Pages, Patient Tracking Sheet, work flows and staff handouts, as well as the PDF version of the Notify In 7, Seven Steps System Guide.  

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Purchase Creating A Next Of Kin Notification System for the special price of $24.95 now!


Share |


Laura and Janet Greenwald, are the founders of The Next of Kin Education Project and Stuf Productions.  The mother & daughter team were not only instrumental in enacting three Next of Kin Laws in California and Illinois, but created the Seven Steps to Successful Notification System, which teaches quick, easy, next of kin notification skills for trauma patients to hospitals like Dallas’ Methodist Medical Center. 


Share |

More Free Articles You'll Enjoy

Increasing Patient Safety in Seven Steps

Pediatric Emergency Contact Notifications Made Easier

Facilitating Patient Communication

How To Deal With Patients Who Are John Does or Homeless

Medicare Deadline Spurs Hospitals to Prevent Pressure Ulcers













Home          About NOKEP          Media          Contact Us