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Miami VA Healthcare System

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Bringing the (virtual) world to Veterans bedsides

Patient in hospital bed looks at tv screen

The virtual world is now at our Veteran's bedside

By Miami VA Healthcare System Office of Public Affairs
Friday, September 13, 2013

Being connected to friends and family has never been easier. Mobile phones, tablet computers, video chat and nearly ubiquitous internet access are, for many Veterans, a big part of their everyday lives. Now, Veterans staying at the Miami VA will have access to internet, TV, entertainment and patient education without having to leave their hospital bed.

Inpatients at the Bruce W. Carter VA Medical Center in Miami have had touchscreen access to television, movies, patient education and the Internet since the beginning of last summer. This includes more than 230 monitors from the GetWellNetwork, Inc., installed in inpatient rooms.

“We are proud to be the first VA in Florida to be using this system,” said Paul Russo, director of the Miami VA Healthcare System. “VA has always been very forward thinking in using technology to better serve our Veterans, but this system brings everything all into one place in a very easy to use way.”

By using GetWellNetwork, the Miami VA will also be able to eventually connect to the patient monitoring system allowing for pain management, ordering meals, communication with medical staff and medical education sessions based upon each individual patient’s need.

Patient satisfaction is key to a better hospital experience, and using the GetWellNetwork, patients are able to contact their care team directly about issues like adjusting their room’s temperature, tending to an environment of care issue, or providing feedback on the quality of care they’re receiving. This enhanced communication enables clinicians and team members to immediately respond to their patients needs.

In addition to being the first VA in Florida to adopt this system, the Miami VA is also testing adaptive equipment for Veterans who don’t have use of their arms. Using a “sip and puff” mechanism similar to what many Veterans use in their powered wheelchairs, paralyzed patients are able to scroll through menus, select channels, change the volume and have access to the interactive system on their own terms instead of having to call for assistance.

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