PHOTO LINK: John Summerville, a patient at Monument Health Rapid City Hospital, uses an iPad to keep in touch with family.
RAPID CITY, S.D. (Aug. 26, 2020) – A Monument Health project that began as a means to help COVID-19 patients connect with loved ones when they couldn’t have visitors has turned into an initiative to deploy more than 300 iPads across the Monument Health system. The primary purpose is to help patients communicate with family and friends who can’t be there in person.
The Monument Health Foundation received funding from the John T. Vucurevich Foundation ($25,000) and the South Dakota Community Foundation ($20,000) to purchase iPads and wall mounts so they can be secure and compliant in patient rooms.
“When we consider the Foundation’s purpose and how our funds are distributed, efforts that will help caregivers at the bedside and that will help improve the experience for patients are what we focus on,” said Angie Kliewer, Monument Health Foundation Director. “So we were happy to help with this project.”
The partnership developed for this initiative after Lowe’s in Rapid City donated five of the devices to Monument Health to support patients in the community.
The importance of helping families communicate, especially in the most dire of circumstances, was reinforced Aug. 7 when the parents of a COVID-19 patient asked to visit Rapid City Hospital to thank caregivers and providers who cared for their son and who facilitated the use of an iPad before he passed away.
“Seeing your family member over video is more personal than a phone call,” said Janel Salazar, Nurse Clinician in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). “It’s been vital in helping the family provide support and participate in the care of their loved one and also in helping the patient not feel so isolated.”
All Monument Health hospitals have many iPads available for patient use now, and the goal is for one to be installed in each adult inpatient room across the system by Aug. 21.
About Monument Health
Headquartered in Rapid City, S.D., Monument Health (formerly Regional Health) is a community-based health care system with a mission to make a difference, every day. The system offers care in 33 medical specialties and serves 20 communities across western South Dakota and in eastern Wyoming. With over 4,500 physicians and caregivers, Monument Health is comprised of 5 hospitals, 8 specialty and surgical centers and more than 40 medical clinics and health care service centers. Monument Health is a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network.
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