Comox hospital patients should be reconnected soon

After about a month with no TV access, patients at St. Joseph's General Hospital can expect to have the option to watch it again soon.

After about a month with no television access, patients at St. Joseph’s General Hospital can expect to have the option to watch it again soon.

Health Resource Group (HRG) Inc. — which installed 160 prototype touch-pad entertainment terminals at no cost to the hospital in 2010 — shut the system down in mid-May due to technical difficulties.

The servers and operating systems went back to the company’s office in Vancouver for troubleshooting for an estimated 30 days.

Early next week — which is about 30 days later — the equipment is expected to be reinstalled, according to HRG CEO Ken Grant.

“We’ve made some giant steps forward,” said Grant Tuesday, adding testing is just wrapping up this week, but it looks like the problems are fixed. “We’ve completely rebuilt the system and we have a much more scalable program — right now we’re in the testing phase to make sure that the program actually works and works smoothly before we install it.”

The equipment was installed as a pilot project. The terminals boasted television, Internet, entertainment such as movies and games, telephone, a customer satisfaction survey, an option for ordering food with a menu based on the patient’s needs and a call nurse button, which uses a video connection.

However, the system had intermittent functionality problems when working, and at other times it shut down completely, leaving hospital patients without any electronic entertainment during their stays.

Grant had noted problems with scalability, meaning the system’s ability to function during high traffic.

He expects an install team will be at the hospital for three to four days next week to reprogram the system onsite, and at first only the TV function will be up and running.

“That’ll be starting with TV. Our next step then is to introduce the telephone and the Internet soon after that,” Grant said, adding the Internet may even be up and running on the same trip.

The service which has been free to users since December because of the issues, will remain free for a minimum of 30 days after it’s installed, according to Grant.

“The idea behind that is that we want to make sure that it runs on a stable basis and that the hospital executive is satisfied that it’s running the way they want,” he said.

Although St. Joseph’s president and CEO Jane Murphy was not available to comment in time for the Record’s deadline, she had called the situation “serious” in a past interview, adding it’s important for patients to have access to television service during their stays.

She had also mentioned the hospital planned to look into other service options if necessary.

According to Grant, HRG will wait until the hospital is happy with the services being reinstalled next week, and then the other services like food ordering will be looked at.

“Those were to be done once we were satisfied we had a stable platform for TV, telephone, Internet — that’s No. 1,” he said. “Then we start working on the food services, the pharmacy, the nurse link, there’s a whole bunch of pieces that are part of it.”

writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Just Posted

Charles Hawkswell, Commander, of the Cape Lazo Power and Sail Squadron, presents a $1,000 cheque to the Comox Valley Marine Rescue Society. File photo
Comox removing moorage fees, hydro for Comox Valley Marine Rescue Society

Last year, the unit and society responded to more than 50 rescue missions in the past year

A Saanich man received almost 10 years in Supreme Court in Courtenay for a shooting incident from 2018. Record file photo
Shooting incident north of Courtenay nets almost 10-year sentence

Richard Daniel Vigneault was arrested without incident and faced 16 counts

Dr. Aref Tabarsi, a general pathologist at the North Island Hospital Campbell River Hospital Medical Laboratory, spoke about the issue of service in the region at a meeting in February 2020. Black Press file photo
Comox Strathcona hospital board wants pathology service back

UPDATED: Board supports move for chair, vice-chair to engage with Island Health on issue

Danielle Egilson has been awarded a $40,000 post-secondary scholarship with The Cmolik Foundation. Photo supplied
Student from Courtenay’s Vanier Secondary lands prestigious scholarship

Cmolik Foundation provides opportunities for youth who’ve experienced adversity

Poverty is a sad reality for some people in the Comox Valley. Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
Project takes a hard look at poverty in the Comox Valley

Objective is to reduce poverty in the Comox Valley by 25 per cent over four years

While the route to get there is a little different, downtown Courtenay is open and accessible right now. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Bridge — and downtown Courtenay — are open, say businesses

Incoming BIA president Sean Ferguson says parking is available

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

The only access to 5th Street bridge heading east (toward Lewis Park) is via Anderton Avenue. Photo by Terry Farrell.
Single lane alternating traffic controls on Courtenay bridge now in effect

Single lane alternating traffic on the 5th Street Bridge is now in… Continue reading

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

Most Read