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On The Mark
On the Mark is published three-times-a-year by the CHOC Foundation. It features patient highlights, physician spotlights, news about major gifts and upcoming events, construction updates, and fundraising stories and is mailed to donors who support CHOC with a gift of $50 and more.

CHOC Patient Connect: Keeping Patients Connected to What's Important in Life

CHOC patients, particularly those receiving treatment for cancer, may be hospitalized for several weeks at a time. Depending on the nature of treatment and the patient’s immune system, much of that time may be spent in isolation. As a result, they often lose the invaluable support provided by friends – just when they need it the most.

The CHOC Patient Connect Program uses the latest communications technology to give patients a window into the outside world. Wireless laptop computers allow patients to stay in contact with family, friends and teachers through instant messages and email. They can search the Internet to research school projects or for some kid-friendly fun.

CHOC also has two-way video conferencing capabilities to link patients with their classrooms. Patients may actually visit with classmates and teachers from the CHOC bedside.

“Patient Connect helps these kids stay connected to everything in life they hold dear: family, friends, smiles and laughter,” says CHOC Chief Information Officer Mark Headland, who coordinates the Patient Connect program with CHOC Child Life Services Manager Elana Ten Huisen. “It keeps them from missing out on important milestones and helps restore a sense of normalcy to their lives.” Headland has been working with the Orange County Department of Education on the program and hopes to be able to meet patient requests for video conferencing within 24 hours.

“Whether patients are here for a quick recovery or a long-term stay, the favorable impact of Patient Connect has been visible and dramatic,” Headland says. “There isn’t anything we wouldn’t do for our patients and their parents.”

Parents, too, use the laptops to check in with work and to maintain the “care pages” provided by CHOC to keep family members and friends updated on their child’s progress.

CHOC is seeking funding for a dedicated, full-time employee to manage and expand the Patient Connect program, and to purchase new video equipment. For more information, please call the CHOC Foundation for Children at 714.532.8690.


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chocChildren's Hospital of Orange County | UCI University of California, Irvine

Children's Hospital of Orange County is affiliated with UC Irvine Healthcare and UC Irvine School of Medicine

CHOC Children's - 1201 W La Veta Ave, Orange, CA. Phone: 714-997-3000. .