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  1. Cameron, Patricia PhD, RN, CHPN


Telehospice has been recognized as a way to meet the needs of hospice patients and their caregivers. The purpose of this study was to examine the comfort of hospice staff using telehospice to connect virtually with patients and caregivers. The hospice in this study uses Alpha Virtual Assist (AVA), which employs a commercial remote patient monitoring platform and a communication platform that focuses on holistic patient and caregiver comfort as well as interpersonal and interprofessional communication. A mixed methods research design was used. An online survey of hospice staff that included quantitative and qualitative items was used to collect data. Forty-four hospice staff agreed to participate. No differences were found in comfort levels with using AVA between nurses and other staff. Three themes emerged from the qualitative responses: Positive responses about AVA; AVA as an assistive device; and Problems with connectivity. Hospice staff were comfortable using telehospice technology and have effectively used this tool with hospice patients and their caregivers before and during the pandemic.