Grant Application

Joyce Marasco, RN, MSN, CRRN, of the Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit at UPMC Montefiore


Proposed Innovation

Patients hospitalized with acute conditions are often separated from their families and friends for long periods of time. Patients can feel lonely and isolated while their loved ones are frustrated by lack of information.

At UPMC Montefiore, patients in the Acute Rehabilitation Unit are now given iPads® to help with their rehabilitation and education, and to improve communication.


Improvements in Action

The iPad technology allows patients to visit with family members online, and enables the family to interact with hospital staff. Families also are able to watch the patient during therapy. The applications are easy to use and include feedback that motivates patients. For example, the iPad is now being used to film stroke patients from their first attempt at walking until discharge — providing visible proof of their progress.

Staff continues to look for new uses for the iPads in therapy. A metronome application, or app, recently added to the iPad enables patients to gait train at a specific rate of speed. Beginning in early 2015, the iPads will be used during doctors’ rounds so family members can have a virtual presence.



Patients, families, and staff have embraced the use of the iPads. It allows patients to connect with family members, and improved communication between families and staff. Patients often ask for extra therapy time using the apps. And many have expressed interest in buying their own iPad to continue therapy after discharge.