Care to Connect
We understand that it is difficult when a loved one is in the hospital and you are not able to visit them in person.
Care to Connect allows family members and friends to visit patients in the hospital at Allina Health, using a secure video conferencing service. You can connect from anywhere using any internet-enabled device.
What it is
Use this secure video conferencing service to connect with a patient in the hospital when you can’t be together.
To get started, contact the hospital unit where the patient is being treated and request a Care to Connect video call.
What to expect
- Contact the hospital department where the patient is located and tell the nurse you are interested in setting up a Care to Connect video meeting. If you do not know the hospital department phone number, look for your location, call the main phone number listed, and ask for the department phone number for your patient.
- The unit staff will schedule a video meeting and send a primary family member an email with an invitation to join the meeting at an agreed date and time.
- The family member can then forward the invite to other family members or friends inviting them to join the patient/family video meeting.
If this is your first time using Care to Connect, be prepared to download the Microsoft Teams® app to your device. View instructions on how to do this.
Good to know
Care to Connect is most suitable for people in the hospital who:
- do not have their own electronic devices with video meeting capability (for example, an iPhone with FaceTime)
- are not able to use their own electronic device (for example, they are in the ICU or in a unit where the use of personal devices is restricted).
Family members who wish to use Care to Connect will need to download the Microsoft Teams app to their personal electronic device.
Microsoft Teams is free to download and family members do not need to create an account as you will join the Care to Connect meeting as a guest.
Please note: Not all Allina Health locations offer Care to Connect and meetings are subject to staff availability.
Source: Caroline Stacey – Care to Connect Project Co-lead,
Maia Hendrickson – Care to Connect Project Co-lead,
Care to Connect training guide, and
Care to Connect patient family instructions
Reviewed by: Maia Hendrickson – Consumer Experience Advisor, Caroline Stacey – Patient/Family Advisor and external consultant, Chris Nystrom – Allina IS, and Stephanie Johnson – Patient Experience Director, Mercy/Unity
First published: 10/30/2020
Last reviewed: 10/29/2020