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Table 1 Questions asked in each consultation group

From: Keep in touch (KIT): perspectives on introducing internet-based communication and information technologies in palliative care

Patients and Family Members
1. How do you keep in touch with your family and friends while you are here in hospital?
2. What effect does being in hospital have on people’s ability to stay in touch with family and friends? How does being in hospital affect patients’ ability to stay in touch with family and friends? How does being in hospital affect family members’ ability to stay in touch with other family and friends?
3. What advantages, if any, do you see to having internet access in patient care rooms on the ward? For patients? For patients’ family members or friends?
4. What drawbacks, if any, do you see to having internet access in patients’ rooms on the ward? For patients? For patients’ family members or friends?
5. What kinds of activities do you think people would use access to the internet to do, if it was available in patient care rooms? What would patients use it for? What would family use it for?
6. Would you be likely to use your own computer, tablet, or smart phone while on the ward or would you prefer to use a computer supplied by the hospital?
7. Would you be willing to pay to use a computer with internet access? If so, what would be a reasonable daily rate for a computer with unlimited internet access?
8. Other comments?
Direct Health Care Providers
1. Can you describe a situation in you think computer-mediated communication or information technology available at the patient’s bedside may have enhanced a patient’s quality of life during their hospital stay? Enhanced patient care?
2. What observations have you made regarding what patients or their family members are doing now to use computer-mediated communication technology at this Health Centre (e.g. using smart phones, using computers in public spaces)?
3. In what ways do you think access to computer-mediated communication and information technologies at the bedside might enhance patients’ quality of life during their hospital stay? Enhance patient care? Create opportunities for providing care?
4. How do you think patients might use computer-mediated communication or information technology at their bedside?
5. What are the characteristics of patients (or family members) you think are most likely to use computer-mediated communication or information technology at the patient’s bedside?
6. Might there be drawbacks to having computer-mediated communication or information technology available at a patient’s bedside? If so, what disadvantages do you see? Can you suggest ways that the drawbacks could be mitigated?
7. What concerns, if any, do you have about computer-mediated communication or information technology being available at the patient’s bedside?
Health Centre Administrators
1. In your opinion, would offering computer-mediated communication and information technologies to patients at the bedside fit the mission and values of this Health Centre?
2. What observations have you made regarding what patients or their family members are doing now to use computer-mediated communication technology at this Health Centre (e.g. using smart phones, using computers in public spaces)?
3. In what ways do you think access to computer-mediated communication and information technologies at the bedside might enhance patients’ quality of life during their hospital stay? Enhance patient care? Create opportunities for providing care?
4. Might there be drawbacks to having computer-mediated communication or information technology available at a patient’s bedside? If so, what disadvantages do you see? Can you suggest ways that the drawbacks could be mitigated?
5. From the perspective of the organization, what concerns, if any, do you have about computer-mediated communication or information technology being available at the patient’s bedside?
6. Again, from the perspective of the organization, what barriers do you foresee with implementing this service? How might these barriers be overcome?
7. Are you aware of any similar services offered to patients, either in Manitoba or elsewhere?
Communication and Information Technology Experts
1. What technology (that is, hardware, software, peripherals) do you recommend to achieve the stated functions and to address other factors such as privacy, ease of use, human-computer interface, and robustness?
2. What problems might arise from use of the technology by potentially frail and vulnerable patients, which may not be obvious to technologically-naïve health care providers? How might these problems be overcome?
3. Are there other communication and information functions that are not listed above, which could be helpful to patients and their families for keeping in touch with one another? What might be the IT-support demands associated with providing communication and information technologies to patients in hospital?
4. Given that technology changes rapidly, what is the expected lifespan of the recommended technology? How easily could it be upgraded? Can you suggest questions that we have not asked that we should ask?