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A virtual message brings real smiles

Hospital can be a lonely place, especially when you are in a rural hospital far away from loved ones but Waikato District Health Board is shortening the distance.

From 4 April the organisation will offer people the opportunity to send electronic cards (e-cards) to loved ones admitted to Taumarunui, Tokoroa, Thames and Te Kuiti and Waikato hospitals.

The e-cards were trialled at Waikato Hospital and in the past three months have proved a huge success with more than 300 cards sent to inpatients.

Loved ones can follow the links on the Waikato DHB website to choose from one of five cards and write a personalised message.

The card will then be printed on card and hand delivered to the patient, giving them not only a sentimental message but a visitor too.

The model follows similar initiatives rolled out in the United Kingdom, United States and Australia and is a simple way of delivering a message when someone may not be able to physically visit a patient.

The online system will allow people to send get well cards for adults and children and congratulations for new arrivals.

Waikato DHB director of business support Melinda Ch’ng said the free cards have great potential to improve the patent’s experience.

“People are able to write the message in the patient’s own language… and the ability for patients to keep and re-read the card provides a long lasting reminder of the sentiment shared by their loved ones.”

Please encourage friends and family of patients in your area to use this new service available on Waikato DHB website under ‘For patients and visitors’.

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