Harrison Hospital keeps visitors connected

Harrison Bremerton is keeping patients and their families connected to the outside world during their time in the hospital.

The hospital now has wireless and plug-in access to the Internet available inside the hospital. The service sprang from a real-life experience of Adar Palis, Harrison’s chief information officer, when he recently found himself in another hospital with one of his friends.

While Palis was waiting to hear from the doctor on how his friend was doing, he began to feel antsy. His friend had family in the Phillipines and all Palis could think was that he wished there was a way he could pop his friend’s family an e-mail to let them know what was going on.

From that experience, the idea was born.

He realized then it would be a great service to Harrison patients and their families if they could have access to the Internet to make the experience of waiting a little less painful.

By next month, the hospital will have two computer terminals in the lobby, one in the intensive care unit waiting room, one in the oncology waiting area and one in the emergency room waiting area. All the areas also will have hardwire and wireless access to the Internet so visitors can bring their own laptops or their own portable data devices with them and access the Internet on them, Palis said.

The most common use so far on the main lobby computer is visitors are using it to look up health information, Palis said.

“I see people researching what the doctor just told them,” Palis said.

It took about two-and-a-half months from the time Palis pitched the idea until it came to fruition.

“Most of that was waiting for equipment,” he said.

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