Video calling at the UCSF Children's Hospital
Nashota, a 9 year old in intensive care, uses Skype to connect with her twin sister Nahimana who’s unable to visit her in her room.
At Skype we’re all about bringing our people closer to the ones that matter most, regardless of geographic barriers. And while every story of a Skype connection touches us, the stories of the families at UCSF Children’s Hospital are our current favorites.
Last December, Skype began working with the UCSF Children’s Hospital and UCSF Medical center, in an effort to connect hospital patients with loved ones who are unable to make in-person visits. This partnership, which marks the first time Skype has partnered with a hospital in the US, has made Skype video calling available to all patients in the hospital.
Video calling in the hospital has removed both geographical, and in this case, physical barriers by allowing patients who can’t leave the hospital to have face-to-face conversations. Lila Param, director of pediatric services at UCSF Children’s Hospital, noted how Skype video calling has helped the healing process among many patients by eliminating a sense of isolation that patients sometimes feel. By having access to Skype enabled laptops, patients are able to reach out and talk to family and friends, whenever they are feeling lonely.
A couple of weeks ago I had a chance to catch up with Lila and she shared a story about how two twin sisters who had never been separated since they were born were able to use Skype video to be with one another after one of the twins was admitted into intensive care. Another family who traveled from overseas has been using Skype every evening to see their family back home and to give them virtual tours of the hospital, providing them a sense of comfort and closeness despite the thousands of miles in between.
We are thrilled that Skype has been able to reduce the distance between patients and their loved ones, especially during a time when they need it most.