Virtual Visits Let Passavant Patients Stay in Touch During No Visitor Restrictions

By Jeremy Coumbes on May 13, 2020 at 9:31am

Donald Hawk visits with family members during a virtual visit. The free program is offered by Passavant Hospital to allow patients to stay in touch with family and friends while the no visitor policy is in effect.

Patients at Passavant Area Hospital are now able to visit with family and friends despite the current no visitor policy in place at the hospital.

Passavant is now providing video chat technology for patients to stay in contact with loved ones while they are hospitalized.

Bob Sanner, Patient Experience Manager for Passavant says Memorial Health System acted quickly to offer virtual visiting measures for patients after instituting the no visitor policy.

After the visit restrictions were put into place during this COVID-19 pandemic, they really stepped it up and helped us put it into place, and without their help we wopuld not have been able to do it.

This is something that we are offering just to give guests and friends that opportunity to visit with their loved one virtually, since they can’t be here.”

Patients who have their own phones or electronic devices capable of connecting to the internet can use the hospitals wifi during their stay.

Sanner says the service was implemented for those patients who either do not use these types of devices, or who are unfamiliar or unable to use the technology.

He says the hospital has devices in house that use the same services their family and friends likely have to make the virtual visits as easy as possible.

Basically we use Facetime, which is the app that is used strictly for the iPhone, and then we have a Google dual app for patients who maybe have an Android phone, and we have a couple of iPads on wheels that we have access to, and several iPhones available as well and they are housed in our Information Services Department.

So whenever we need to get one, we just request it, and myself or a nurse or a staff member can coordinate it with the guest or the loved one, get the contact numbers and put them in there, go up into the room, and basically we hit audio or video and that’s when the connection takes place.”

Donald Hawk recently visited with his family from a patient room at Passavant. Sanner says the visit was one of the very first offered by the new service.

Members of the Hawk family visit with Donald virtually during his recent stay.

We actually connected ten family members with him, and some of these family members were out of state. When we showed up and connected live with him, it was a special moment for him, and I will never forget his face, you know, his reaction when we connected. It was just great for all the family members to see it, and for all the family members to see each other at that time. After we were done, he looked at me and he says, ““wow that was great””, so that was pretty cool and it was a special moment for sure.”

Hawks Daughter in Law Brenda Hawk who is also a nurse says the service is very important for the well being of the patient, as well as for the family to be able to see how their loved one is progressing.

If you have questions about this service or if you know of a patient who would like to use this service, you can contact Bob Sanner, by calling 217-245-9541, ext. 3924 or by email at