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Health & Science

Ohio Hospice Care During Pandemic Makes Changes for Safety

holding hands at bedside
Ann Summa
Getty Images
Technology, such as virtual visits between patients and their friends and family members, is playing a central role in hospice care during the pandemic. Virtual visits are one of the ways hospice care providers are helping to keep everyone involved safe.

Carey Short is the director of intake and admissions for Ohio's Hospice.

She says most of the services provided by hospice have been geared toward in-home care for some time.

What’s changed since the pandemic started is the extra care and precautions the organization takes. Short says there’s been a big increase in the use of technology to keep patients and health care workers safe.

“This has definitely been an interesting, different year for hospice specifically. I think we’ve seen the staff seeing more patients, and they passed very quickly after being admitted to hospital services for a variety of reasons and some of those being related to COVID,” Short said.

Those virtual visits are good for keeping patients connected to their families as well. Hospice workers say that’s not the same as having family members at a loved one’s bedside, but for in-house patients, virtual visits are an alternative to the isolation that has come with statewide health lockdowns.