HARTSVILLE, S.C. (WBTW) — Starting Tuesday, Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center staff, patients and their loved ones can use an app to help further ways of communicating virtually. The free app is called the Vocera Ease application. It enables nurses and other healthcare professionals to send secure texts, photos, and video updates to a patient’s designated loved ones during a hospital stay or medical procedure. Family members and friends can respond to updates with emojis, giving immediate feedback and support to caregivers.

Frank Munn, Director of Surgical Services & Cardiac Cath Health Lab, says during the pandemic, staff and patients used iPads for virtual communication, but this app will give them another way to reach loved ones who can’t visit in person.

“Facetime is typically one on one with the receiver and the sender and what Ease will allow us to do is when the patient downloads that to their phone they will be able to select from their contact list several family members or friends that they would like to receive the updates,” Munn said.

“Oh we hope to have a great experience with it. We are going to start with our perioperative, surgical area which is my area and we will be able to communicate as folks go back for surgeries that they’ve gone back, the surgery started, the surgery is completed and that they moved on to the pacu and back to recovery.”

This app is also HIPAA compliant and no information will be stored within the app. Also all pictures and messages will go away 60 seconds after being viewed.

“Hospital stays can cause anxiety for patients and their family members, especially during a pandemic. Not only are patients sick, but they often can’t be together with their family while in the hospital. Seeing a reassuring picture of a grandparent or a newborn family member provides needed comfort,” said Christy Moody, MSN, RN, CCRN-K, CPPS, Chief Nursing Officer at Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center. “We are committed to providing high-quality patient care and the best possible healthcare experience, so we hope that having access to the Vocera Ease Application will help our patients and their loved ones feel more connected and have more peace of mind.”

This app can be downloaded using any Apple or Android device. Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center can also use Vocera Ease to track and improve the healthcare experience in real time. A customizable in-app survey offers a quick way for our staff to monitor patient and family satisfaction.