Yukon hospital offers patient bedside Internet access

Monday, July 22nd 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

YUKON, Okla. (AP) _ A Yukon hospital is offering bedside Internet access to patients -- a feature that hospital officials say is a first for Oklahoma.

The Integris Canadian Valley Regional Hospital _ which opened in November _ provides patients with a wireless keyboard for navigating the Internet on their televisions. Patients can adjust the text size so it is readable from their beds.

Hospital administrators will not say how much the system cost, but said it was cost-effective because they wired the building during construction.

Yukon resident Vickie Kyzer, who suffers from asthma, said the technology was a blessing during her recent eight-day stay at the 40-bed hospital.

``I used the Internet when I was first admitted because no one knew I was coming,'' Kyzer said. ``They just admitted me from the doctor's office. I e-mail my family in eastern Oklahoma about every other day. My daughter and I e-mailed them to let them know immediately that I was in the hospital without having to call long-distance, and that was nice.''

Kyzer said the Internet access also let her help her son prepare for his wedding.

``I'm the chief decorator for the wedding, and I had all these details that I had to finish and I was able to make orders and confirm orders on the Internet,'' she said.

The hospital encourages patients to use the system to e-mail hospital administrators about health concerns, said Ben Bradley, director of nursing. Bradley said he has received more feedback than usual since the new system began operating a couple months ago.

``Seemingly, they're a little freer to communicate by e-mail,'' he said.

The hospital also offers patients pay-per-view movies and a library of free educational health films.