Technology is no longer a ?nice to have? or a capital expense budgeted every 5-10 years. In fact, it’s hard to separate it from anything we do on a daily basis. At Hospice Calgary, we?ve fully embraced technology and recognize its value. It breaks down barriers, improves communication, generates awareness, and inspires giving.
At Rosedale Hospice, an electronic key pad secures our nursing station, a complex control board operates the boilers, Netcare allows the patient care team access to Alberta Health Services? records system, and a server connects the computer network to our main offices. At Sage Centre and Children’s Grief Centre, we have donor, client, and volunteer databases, a computer network infrastructure that allows for onsite and remote work, equipment for video-conferencing and distance education, tablets for survey administration, and a point-of-sales system to process donations and client fees.
Understanding the value and importance of technology has positioned Hospice Calgary well. Several years ago, we developed a technology strategy because we recognized we?d need a solid structural foundation from which to better meet community needs. Having this in place has helped us work with donors to build the foundation and grow from it. It enabled us to adapt and respond quickly when the pandemic hit to ensure we continue to be here for those who need us in the days, weeks, and months to come. We were able to quickly transition staff that work at our S.E. offices to work remotely almost immediately when Calgary shut down in March.
Our new phone system installed in January allows staff to make and receive calls from wherever they are working while also connecting them with their teams through instant messaging capabilities. Within a month, counselling and group programs were available to our clients via video-conferencing using Zoom Telehealth. Our virtual classroom allowed us to continue offering our Dying to Know education series where people can register for a workshop from wherever they are in the world! In fact, when the Dying to Know sessions went virtual, our attendance for the workshops increased.
We continue to work hard with our IT services provider to have the adaptive capacity to best meet our clients? needs in these changing times.