Using Informatics to Facilitate Home-Clergy Hospital Pastoral Care Visits: A Proof Of Concept Study
Norella, Sophia Maria
This Master’s Thesis project sought to address the problem of facilitating pastoral care visits for patients from clergy by whom patients want to be visited. The project: (1) assessed the potential utility of a model, including supporting algorithms, to facilitate inpatient pastoral care visits by patients’ “home” clergy; (2) examined the ability of the model to comply with existing HIPAA regulations and general ethical principles; (3) implemented the model in a pilot trial in Middle Tennessee; and (4) evaluated the model’s effectiveness in the pilot study, to inform and direct future model evolution. While the model is general and could in theory apply to any religious institution and any hospital, the current pilot study involved adult patients (age 18 or older) at Vanderbilt University Hospital in Nashville, TN and two Middle Tennessee religious institutions that met Institutional Review Board criteria to serve as volunteer test sites.