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Communications Upgrade in ICU – Thanks to Many

April 28, 2020
by Julie Parry

In early April, pulmonology and critical care physicians Danielle Antin-Ozerkis, MD; Ashley Losier, MD; and Andrey Zinchuk, MD, were caring for COVID-19-positive patients in the medical intensive care unit (MICU) at Yale New Haven Hospital (YNHH) and were struck by the communications complications caused by the disease.

“One of the hardest things for the patients and the providers was the difficulty communicating with families,” said Zinchuk. “Because of the necessary visitation restrictions, families could not be with or even see their loved ones in the hospital. This made it difficult for us (physicians and nurses) to fully update families and to participate in effective shared decision making when critical issues came up.”

Antin-Ozerkis, Losier, and Zinchuk sought to obtain additional resources, specifically Apple iPads with video messaging capabilities, to assist their patients and families. Concurrently, Yale New Haven Health (YNHHS) IT team members Jennifer Travers, Glynn Stanton, Elliot Jimenez and Katie Arcangelo; Tina Bennett in Patient Experience; and Leslie Hutchins in Nursing Informatics had been working on a similar project and were happy to partner with the trio to speed up the distribution. IT obtained, reimaged and distributed the Family Zoom iPads across five COVID MICU units at YNHH’s York Street Campus and two COVID-designated areas at the Saint Raphael Campus.

The care teams can now video conference with family members about the care of their loved ones.

“This project was truly a partnership. We could not have done this without our partners in IT, Nursing, Patient Experience and Yale-PCCSM (Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine),” said Antin-Ozerkis. “Sara Newman and the charge nurses on North Pavilion 9, 10, and 15 on the York Street Campus, along with Patrizia Schaefer and Katharine Paul at SRC have been instrumental. We are so thrilled that now families can have video meetings with the care teams treating their loved ones. We hope that this leads to as sense of inclusiveness, personal connection, and improved communications for all.”

The Section of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine is one of the eleven sections within YSM’s Department of Internal Medicine. To learn more about Yale-PCCSM, visit PCCSM’s website, or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Submitted by Julie Parry on April 28, 2020