Highlands Medical Center (HMC) is open for all services and currently has no inpatient with the coronavirus, but visitation restrictions are still being implemented per the order of Gov. Kay Ivey.

During the visitation restriction, nurses and/or physicians call designated family members each day with status updates. HMC is going a step beyond phone conversations to make virtual meeting through FaceTime available as well.

The hospital purchased iPads to allow for visual conversations between hospital staff, patients and family members. The FaceTime communication can also provide virtual visits with members of the clergy, in end of life situations or before placing a patient on the ventilator should time allow.

“Being able to see each other during communication can help physicians and family members more accurately interpret information, concerns and post-discharge care needs,” said Dr. Lonnie Albin, chief medical officer at Highlands. “It also helps to lift spirits of our patients when they get to see the faces of their loved ones who cannot be here with them. While our caring staff is with each patient throughout the day and night, feeling the support and love of family helps patients in the recovery process.”

In addition to HMC, iPads are now available at both Highlands Health and Rehab and Cumberland Health and Rehab to use with their residents.

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