Methodist Healthcare System | Keeping Well | Summer 2020

Articles in Keeping Well do not necessarily represent the opinions of doctors practicing at Methodist Healthcare facilities. Methodist Hospital campuses include: Methodist Children’s Hospital, Methodist Hospital, Methodist Hospital | Specialty and Transplant, Methodist Hospital | Texsan, Methodist Hospital | Metropolitan, and Methodist Hospital | Northeast. Additional Methodist Healthcare hospitals are Methodist Hospital | Ambulatory Surgery, Methodist Hospital | Stone Oak and Methodist Hospital | South. AS THE CORONAVIRUS pandemic was ramping up across the globe, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began encouraging social distancing in mid-March. The term was unheard of for many, and the practice was foreign. Human interaction is a critically important contributor to good health. It is especially vital in a children’s hospital. Thankfully, Methodist Children’s Hospital’s established virtual technology program allowed for a smooth transition once social distancing guidelines were put in place. Prior to social distancing, it was common practice to place certain pediatric patients on isolation precautions. Traditionally, isolation patients must stay inside their room during their hospital stay to protect the patient, his or her family, visitors, and hospital workers from the spread of certain germs. “Oftentimes, a hospital stay can be isolating for a child who is unable to participate in activities with other patients or their healthy peers,” Certified Child Life Specialist Caitlin Pearce said. Methodist Children’s Hospital launched the virtual technology program, hiring South Texas’s first full-time virtual gaming technician in 2018. The program was a game changer when it came to helping those children heal while under isolation precautions. The program allows every patient in the hospital access to an interactive online hub. Throughout the year, the hospital broadcasts group activities and performances via livestream directly to the rooms of patients who are unable to participate in-person. During the coronavirus pandemic, patients were able to continue to participate in virtual games like bingo. On Easter Sunday, they played along during a virtual Easter egg hunt. “Being able to continue activities virtually is helping us restore a sense of normalcy to our patients and their loved ones,” Pearce said. “We know these experiences create a positive healing environment and reduce anxiety as well.” “What’s been encouraging is to see kids not wanting to leave the hospital because they have the chance to participate in livestream events, art therapy and other activities that we host in an effort to make their stay a positive one,” she added. Methodist Children’s Hospital turns to virtual technology to help patients in the age of social distancing Jenna Painter, Child Life Specialist, uses virtual technology to connect with patient Jared Zavala (pictured on the iPad). The virtual technology program at Methodist Children's Hospital has helped create a positive healing environment for patients and reduce anxiety during the coronavirus pandemic as the hospital broadcasts group activities and performances via livestream directly to patients. K E E P I N G W E L L Information in KEEPING WELL comes from a wide range of medical experts. If you have any concerns or questions about specific content that may affect your health, please contact your healthcare provider. Models may be used in photos and illustrations. 2020 © Coffey Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. SUMMER 2020 KEEPING WELL is published as a community service for the friends and patrons of METHODIST HEALTHCARE, 8109 Fredericksburg Road, San Antonio, TX 78229, telephone 210-575-0355 , website . Allen Harrison President and CEO Palmira Arellano Vice President of Communications and Community Affairs Cheri Love-Moceri Director of Corporate Communications METHODIST HEALTHCARE SYSTEM 8109 Fredericksburg Road San Antonio, TX 78229 Presorted Standard U.S. Postage PAID San Antonio, TX Permit No. 1409 M e t h o d i s t H e a l t h c a r e 8 S U M M E R 2 0 2 0