Zero-Touch Pandemic-era Challenges Addressed For Hospice Care

by Denis O’Shea, Founder & CEO of Mobile Mentor Inc

Over the past three years, Alive Hospice has deployed hundreds of ‘Tele-Hospice’ iPads to patients who prefer to receive palliative care in their own home rather than in a traditional hospice location. The technology has enabled Alive Hospice care workers to have daily video calls with their patients over an app specifically designed by Alive Hospice. 

These Tele-Hospice iPads have been a wonderful innovation for patients, but with the advent of COVID-19, the tele-hospice iPads are now mission-critical and bring unexpected benefits. Until recently, the IT team used one system to setup laptops and desktops, and a different system to setup iPads and smartphones. Each device setup required over 60 minutes of manual work from an experienced IT person.

Alive Hospice adopted a new device management approach that leverages a best practice called Zero-Touch Provisioning. This type of device management has been particularly effective during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Zero Touch Provisioning is the ability to order a new laptop, iPad, or smartphone and ship it directly to an employee without anyone from IT having to setup the device before the user receives it. 

In this case, Zero-Touch Provisioning was used to eliminate 60 minutes of manual provisioning time by having an automated configuration of the new laptop or iPad. In the current environment, this saves precious time for IT and eliminates the need to come into the office and physically handle the device.

Joe Hampe is Alive Hospice’s COO and was the first person to test the new process. He easily set up his computer with a self-configuration protocol. In fact, after receiving his new computer, it ready to use within 30 minutes.

“This is a huge breakthrough for us, we are thrilled, and we can now migrate 1,000 devices to Intune,” according to Kyle Rucker, Director of Information Technology

The rapid spread of COVID-19 presents unparalleled challenges to all hospice operators. Chaplains, nurses, and social workers who comfort and care for patients are severely restricted from visiting patients in their homes. This isolation creates challenges at every hospice, rest home, and community care home around the world.

Alive Hospice is using the Tele-Hospice iPads as the bridge between isolated patients and their care workers, providing their patients with the technology to ensure continuity of care. Chaplains, nurses, and social workers can see their patients on video, provide advice on medications, and provide compassion and virtual companionship to their patients.

Alive Hospice has deployed dozens of extra laptops and iPads to care workers as well so that its team remains digitally enabled. This means that care workers can stay safe while still providing compassionate care to their patients-a core mission of hospice care.

The Zero-Touch Provisioning solution was enabled by Mobile Mentor working closely with the IT team at Alive Hospice to apply best practices and international experience.


Alive Hospice is a not-for -profit organization dedicated with three core goals: providing comprehensive care for terminally ill patients and their families; offering support for grieving adults and children; and serving the community as a center for research and education.

Alive Hospice serves more than 3,600 patients and their families annually (more than 430 daily) and provides grief support services for nearly 600 adults and children in Middle Tennessee, USA in addition to training for tomorrow’s caregivers and education for the community at large.