Humber’s Patient Family Liaisons Help Loved Ones Stay In Touch
As Humber River Hospital’s needs shift during the COVID-19 pandemic, some staff member roles have changed in response. Humber has introduced Patient Family Liaisons, who help patients and their families stay connected while visiting has been restricted.
The Patient Family Liaisons are each responsible for a number of floors, where they visit patient rooms, showing patients how to use their Integrated Bedside Terminals for video chats, teaching them how to use the now-free WiFi, and assisting patients who require help connecting with their families by phone or Skype.
“Being a Patient Family Liaison was really special,” says Ida, who is regularly a Data Integrity Analyst at Humber. “I’ve had loved ones in the hospital in the past and it makes such a big difference just to know your family member is okay.”
Ida loves her usual job; using data to help patients in the Bariatrics Program succeed. Leaving her desk job to work on the frontline was a little scary, but Ida says she pushed aside her fears because people needed her. She connected a lot of families through Skype, and even helped one family plan a special physically-distanced celebration for their 67th wedding anniversary.
“I was crying when he asked me if we could do it,” says Ida. “I’m not sure if he could tell because I was wearing my mask and face shield. Being a part of that was really cute.”
Ida’s role has shifted again during the pandemic. She now does data entry for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) statistics. She said goodbye to the Patient Family Liaison role with mixed emotions, relieved to be stepping back from the frontline but also sad to no longer be connecting people. But she knows helping the Hospital manage the PPE inventory is more important than ever.
“Directly or indirectly, I think helping people is what I was meant to do,” says Ida.