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Geek Squad Precinct
Tech support to the rescue
When Pat Lang's daughter Madigan stopped breathing, she did what any mother would do. She called 9-1-1, jumped into the ambulance with her daughter and rushed to Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.
Madigan, 13, was diagnosed ten years ago with a rare genetic disorder called metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD), in which the nervous system slowly deteriorates, causing the body to lose function.
"Madigan is hospitalized often. Being a single mom, managing work and doing a good job while caring for her can be stressful," said Pat. "We were back in intensive care with Madigan on a ventilator and she needed my full attention. Unfortunately I needed to be on a teleconference for work the next day, but my cell phone was dead."
Fortunately for Pat, the first in-hospital Geek Squad precinct had just opened at Children's - Minneapolis, offering free tech support for patients and their families. A Geek Squad agent came to Pat's room to get her cell phone working and to load software onto her laptop for the teleconference.
On-site Geek Squad®
"People say, you helped me keep my job," said Jesse Kneeland, Geek Squad double agent. "I even had one mom say we were miracle workers. And I thought, well, that's a doctor's job. We're just here to help you out with your technology."
Best Buy® has been a strong supporter of Children's. After helping design and outfit the new private patient rooms, Best Buy set up a Geek Squad precinct to offer support. The idea to set up an actual Geek Squad precinct inside the hospital grew out of the recognition that technology is playing an ever-expanding role in the lives of patients and their families. With over half of the patients at Children's in intensive care, many parents are working from the hospital for extended periods of time.
For Geek Squad agents, family-centered care means helping people stay connected. During the day, parents stop in to borrow phone chargers, laptops or printers. Patients want help with social networking sites or video game systems. Agents also help parents email photos or set up CaringBridge® websites to help loved ones stay informed and in touch. They say it's extremely rewarding to help families like the Langs, so they can focus on what matters most. Pat Lang agrees. "Thanks to the Geek Squad, I can get my business taken care of, so I can focus on my daughter."
Working with patient families
Double Agent 3406, Jesse Kneeland, shares some of the experiences and interactions with families and staff at Children's – Minneapolis. You can also follow the precinct on Twitter to connect with Agents and catch a glimpse of life in the precinct at Children's - Minneapolis
- A former patient had stopped into the hospital to show a Staff member her school presentation about her journey with Leukemia. The patient had left, but the staff member needed help to be able to save the presentation from the Internet to share with schools she spoke at as the patient had asked. An Agent was able to not only quickly save the presentation to the staff member's computer, but also show them how to use the same online program to make great exciting presentations.
- A mom stopped in to scan in some realtor documents so she could email them and get some work done while here at the hospital. She said "this is such a neat program you guys have going." & "Thank you (Agent), I wouldn't have been able to do this without you."
- A mother came in today and was in discord because she needed to get some paperwork filled out online and printed out so she could get it mailed first thing in the morning. An Agent was able to sit down with her and walk her through downloading the document and once she had it filled out he was able to help her get the copies printed that she needed. She was very happy that we were here to assist her.
- A dad stopped by the precinct just to visit with one of the Agents he's been in contact with. The dad has enjoyed working with the team so much, he wanted to know when we were available on the weekend so he could stop in again.
- A mom caught an Agent in the hall while making rounds. She had him setup a table for tracking her daughters weight in Microsoft Word. The Agent then discovered and resolved an issue with the Xbox in the room that was keeping the family from being able to watch movies. The mom was very excited to get a Geek Squad Agent's help right in her room. She had such a great experience she came down to the precinct three more times during the week.
- A father brought in his personal netbook with his Verizon card. He was interested in connecting wifi but the computer would not sync. The Agent investigated further and found out that the network management needed to be done through the Verizon dongle. Once this was configured it worked great. His keyboard also needed to be changed to Spanish, which was accomplished
- A dad came into the precinct to use the Internet. One of the Agents found out that it was because he was wearing his phone battery down with calls and emails. The Agents quickly got his iPhone charging while he was using the precinct laptops for emails. He came back later just to charge his phone again and say "thanks!"
- One Agent was able to fly to the rescue to the surgery waiting room to save the day. A family had borrowed a laptop from a friend, and had accidentally switched off the wifi!
- Two Agents went up to a room to help a father resize some photos so he could upload them to the web. He was so excited that Agents could help him.
- A Mother brought in her MacBook and explained that she was having some issues with it. The Agent was able to sit down with her and resolve the problem in a timely fashion and went the extra distance to physically clean the machine. The mother was so happy she said that she wished she'd brought it in sooner.
- A call from the nurses summoned an Agent to find a young father who had brought in his laptop to help pass the time. He was curious about the difference between the Hospitals networks. When the agent talked him through them he requested access to the restricted network, but was unable to leave the bedside to fill out the paperwork. He was thrilled to learn the Agent would be able to return with paperwork and get him set up without needing to leave his child.
- A patient family came to the precinct with some problems with their laptop. Within minutes the issue was resolved and husband told his wife "This is why we come to Geek Squad whenever we have trouble."
- A mom came into the Precinct to get some assistance with getting pictures onto CaringBridge. She kept sharing her appreciation and repeatedly said things like "It is so awesome having you guys here!"
- When a mom came into the precinct to pickup a loaner laptop she said "you guys are keeping me employed!"
- A nurse came in today looking for a flash drive. He was excited to find that our new vending machine carried a flash drive he could buy right here.
- A family forgot their charger for their laptop and found that the precinct could loan one out to them. The mother was very grateful and said that her daughter could now have fun with the laptop during her procedure.
- Patients were in distress when their TV's were randomly shutting off on them. An Agent came to the rescue and after some quick investigation was able to educate both the staff and the patients that sometimes the dish signal has interference and is lost for a little while. There was a sigh of relief, a wave goodbye, and then a turn of the head to continue watching their program. A simple issue yes, but still a confusing situation for those under enough stress already.
- An Agent setup a dad with a mobile application that runs on his flash drive. It was just the solution he was looking for. He was blown away and said that everyone who worked at the precinct is fantastic!
- A mother was having trouble with her loaner laptop after the wireless networks were down at the Hospital. An Agent went up to the room and helped troubleshoot the problem. Once a solution was worked out she said "I don't know what I would do if you guys weren't here!"
- A patient family stopped and was having trouble with their laptop not being able to go online. The agent quickly determined that the unit was infected. The family was thrilled to learn that we could take care of the infection for them, and continued to stay and chat while the agent removed the infection.
- One family stopped in as they heard that we could help them set up their CaringBridge site. The agent proceeded to help with everything from initial sign up to transferring and resizing photos for the site. They said "Its a very generous thing that Best Buy is doing here!"
- When patients are in the hospital, one of the best distractions is a TV, and when it doesn't work it can be pretty stressful. Thankfully when a TV failed for one patient a Geek Squad Agent was ready to assist. The Agent simply disconnected and re-connected the bed remote and speaker to the wall, and the patient was able to watch TV again. Simple solution = huge techno stress relief = a Geek Squad fan for life.
- One patient family had one of their kids put a mini disc into a MacBook Pro, therefore rendering it useless. She desperately came into the precinct to use the laptop stations so she could get online at least. One of the Agents after kindly interrogating her for a while found out about the mini disc situation. The Agent offered a loaner laptop for them to use in their room, which she got excited about especially when she found out it was free. The excitement grew when the Agent offered to have her drop of the MacBook Pro so we could remove the disc for her and return to her a working computer! When she returned to pick up her own system she couldn't stop saying thanks and offering her appreciation!
- One of the dad's was talking with his wife about our badges and proposed that the Agents get wireless mice in holsters on our belts. He was imitating the sounds of a laser gun shooting from the mice as he demonstrated to the Agent how it would be used to fight off techno stress. As they were leaving the precinct the Agent heard the mom say to him "you are such a dork," the Geek whipped out the geek/dork/dweep diagram to explain the difference to her, but he was to late... they left.
- The family who had us walk them through using a computer for the first time came back in today for some more assistance on their CaringBridge site. They were thankful to have Geeks here to help them through this process.
- A regular patient here at the hospital had an Agent up to her room to set her up with a loaner laptop as she could hardly get out of bed. While there the Agent also found out her TV was only receiving 15 channels. The Agent was able to get a universal remote to access the menu system on the TV and rescan the channels. The patient was excited to now have not only a laptop to entertain her but triple the amount of channels she started with to watch on TV!
- Someone was in the precinct and printed a few pictures out of her son. Shed was very excited that we offered the service of the computer and print stations in the precinct and was grateful that we are here to assist her.
- A father brought his son's iPod Touch into the Precinct today because he could not download apps, music, or videos. We looked over the device and used his Network Credentials to configure the iPod. At that point it was able to go online and connect to the App store. He thanked the Agent and said "Today is going to be a very good day for him now." He also came back a few hours later because they did not know how to load an iTunes gift card into the iPod. We showed him how to do that and he was excited because his son got a lot of iTunes GCs for Christmas.
- One patient's mom came in with her sister and dad. They are setting up a benefit for her son and were extremely grateful to be able to print pictures and flyers for the benefit right here at the hospital.
- One patient dropped a netbook on the floor and it wouldn't load the account afterwards. She was thankful to find that no hardware was damaged. She was even more thankful that an Agent could come up to her room and get the system back up and running for her.
- The Agents were able to meet with the Youth Advisory Board here at the hospital. The board makes recommendations around improvements at the hospital to help make it more enjoyable for kids while they are here. They were very excited to get some Q & A time with the Agents and meet Chip too!
Geek Squad Precinct
Geek Squad Precinct at Children's - Minneapolis and Children's - St. Paul
Children's is proud to provide patients, families, and staff with an onsite Geek Squad® Precinct at both the Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses for drop-in consulting and service support. The Geek Squad® Precinct provides a full range of technology and expertise – with many services provided at no cost to patients and families.
Expert Geek Squad® agents are available on-site to address questions and issues involving computers, DVD players, gaming systems, cameras, cell phones, or any other consumer technology devices.
In many ways, Geek Squad® at Children's is just like what you'd find at more than 1,000 Geek Squad® locations nationwide: same tech-savvy agents; same stellar service. However, at Children's, Geek Squad® also provides several free services for patients and their immediate family, including:
- Free computer and cell phone networking support
- Free technology consultation
- Check-out of loaner laptops and digital cameras
- Charge your cell phone
- Free basic photo printing
- Free CaringBridge or blog setup advice
- Free assistance with taking and uploading digital photos
Parts and more extensive Geek Squad® services, like complicated repairs and system maintenance, are available to patients, families, and staff at Geek Squad's® normal service rates – through the convenience of the on-site facility at Children's.
Please note that Geek Squad® agents may only work on non-medical technology equipment, and are not available to support Children's-owned business computers, laptops, and other technology equipment.
Working with patient families
An agent shares some of the experiences and interactions with families and staff at Children's – Minneapolis
"A father brought in his personal netbook with his Verizon card. He was interested in connecting wifi but the computer would not sync. The Agent investigated further and found out that the network management needed to be done through the Verizon dongle. Once this was configured it worked great. His keyboard also needed to be changed to Spanish, which was accomplished." Read More
Tech support to the rescue
For Geek Squad agents, family-centered care means helping people stay connected. During the day, parents stop in to borrow phone chargers, laptops or printers. Patients want help with social networking sites or video game systems. Agents also help parents email photos or set up CaringBridge® websites to help loved ones stay informed and in touch. Read More
Solving computer problems for hospital patients and their families
Recently, Lorna Benson of Minnesota Public Radio shadowed the Best Buy GeekSquad agents at Children's – Minneapolis, and on Jan. 12 published a story on her experience, and how solving computer problems for patient families helps reduce stress and enhance the patient-familiy experience at Children's.
Read the story on minnesota.publicradio.org
About Geek Squad® Agents at Children's
Through its easily recognized agents, Geek Squad® provides a complete array of technology repair and services to consumers through more than 1,000 locations nationwide.
As part of our mission to provide family-centered care, Children's partnered with Geek Squad® to enhance our caring environment for patients, families, and staff.
Offering an on-site Geek Squad® service and consultation facility enables families to stay closer to others during their time here. Please note that all Geek Squad® agents working at Children's must pass the same rigorous screening and background checks that Children's uses for its employees and contractors.
Geek Squad® Precinct at Children's - Minneapolis
Children's Specialty Center, 2nd floor
Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, Noon to 5 p.m.
Geek Squad® Precinct at Children's - St. Paul
Garden View Building next to the Family Resource Center
Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.