App aims to improve communication between doctors, patients’ families

<p>A new app rolling out in Rockland County is designed to improve communication between patients' families and doctors.</p>

News 12 Staff

Oct 17, 2018, 12:17 AM

Updated 2,097 days ago

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A new app rolling out in Rockland County is designed to improve communication between patients' families and doctors.
Family First Messenger is the first mobile platform that allows hospital staff to communicate directly with a patient's loved ones.
Kathleen Steele tells News 12 that when her husband was undergoing a five-hour open heart surgery at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, she received constant updates from the Family First Messenger on his condition.
"When they said he's off the heart-lung machine, that was like a breath of relief for me because I knew that was the hardest part of the surgery and it was done," she says.
Surgeons say it’s a tool they wish they had sooner.
"It allows us to communicate with them and give them information during that time period - which we would like to do - but we're unable to because we're in the operation so it really allows us to improve our communication with the family," says Chirag Badami, cardiothoracic surgeon at Good Samaritan Hospital.
The man behind the idea is Dr. Richard Evans, vice president of surgical services at Good Samaritan Hospital.
He says in his 25-year career in medicine, there has always been a disconnect that only makes families worry more.
"They're afraid to leave the waiting room, they're afraid to go to the bathroom, because they're going to miss the physician or the surgeon -- so this helps them to have an improved hospital experience and then also to allay the anxiety while they wait,” he says.
Dr. Evans says hospitals all over the country are inquiring about the app.
He hopes with each download, he can make a difference during families’ worst times.


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