When a new, public Wi-Fi system launched at the Aberdeen Hospital earlier this month, Susan Malcolm of the Aberdeen Health Foundation was able to put a tick beside an item that had been on her wish list for some time.
“We are so pleased that at last, we are able to provide free access to Wi-Fi at the hospital for our patients and their families,” says Malcolm. “We hope that this ability to connect will help reduce stress at an already stressful time.”
It actually gives a lot of relief to Malcolm as well, who recounts a story about a mom who found herself at her daughter’s side in the hospital for several days. “This mom had to purchase extra data for her cell phone to keep in touch with family and take care of other responsibilities. That will never have to happen again.”
In recent years, the Foundation has received requests to fund expanded Wi-Fi access for patients in various areas of the hospital.
The hospital’s new Palliative Care physician, Dr. Kwasnik-Krawczyk, has developed a music program for patients, which requires access to the Internet. Dr. Kwasnik-Krawczyk did her thesis on music in health care and recently presented her research at the Palliative Care Physicians meeting in Ottawa. The ability to now deliver this program will benefit the unit’s patients and allow the doctor to further her research.
In the hospital’s chemo and oncology clinics, patients often spend several hours at a time in the department receiving their treatment. Many of the support and information programs available to cancer patients are offered on-line, including psychosocial support groups and education on disease-specific topics. Access to Wi-Fi in these areas allows patients to connect to work, school or entertainment and allows the nurses to provide standardized training and follow-up to patients while at the hospital.
Because the Aberdeen Health Foundation saw the value in providing access throughout the hospital, all patients can now stay in touch with their responsibilities at work and at home. Students will be able to keep up with their schoolwork and everyone can connect with family and friends during their time at the Aberdeen Hospital.
The Aberdeen Health Foundation is marking 30 years of enhancing health care in Pictou County and funding more than $20 million in advanced equipment and care for our region. The continued generosity of the people of Pictou County makes it possible for the Foundation to provide upwards of $1 million annually to enhance health care here.