As COVID-19 impacted our communities, hospitals and clinics had to shift their patient care protocol to ensure that both the patients and health care professionals stayed as safe as possible. That meant layers of protective equipment, limited time in patient rooms, and more virtual contact. For Dr. Jerome Siy and Dr. Lauren Shaw, they saw how these changes impacted the doctor-patient interactions.
“I saw that patient-provider relationships were diminishing because of isolation and masking,” said Dr. Shaw. “It was becoming challenging to get to know our patients like we normally do.”
Dr. Siy and Dr. Shaw had previously worked on a program called My Life, My Story that was introduced at VA hospitals to help elderly patients capture their life stories to enhance the personal relationship with their care provider. They had piloted the project at our hospitals years before with cancer patients, but now they saw that it could do even more.
“With a majority of our COVID patients being elderly, we thought this was would be a great tool to bridge the gap we were seeing,” recalled Dr. Shaw. “This program allows patients to answer open ended questions not only about their health, but about their personal life. It then goes along with all their medical charts giving us a well-rounded picture of the patient.”
This inspiring program has gained an exciting amount of traction through the support of generous donors who designated contributions to the Regions Hospital Foundation COVID-19 Response and Relief Fund. One patient said that “it made his morning a little less lonely,” while one care-giver said “I actually cried and felt closer with my patient.”
“We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from various care-givers asking for more information and the capacity to expand this work,” said Dr. Siy. “The My Life, My Story team is grateful for the opportunity to engage more deeply with our patients and allow patients a more robust personal connection with their healthcare providers.”
When you donate to our COVID-19 Response and Relief Fund, you’re supporting patients, families and our entire community. You’re also providing much needed safety equipment for care teams at our hospitals and clinics. These teams are working tirelessly to keep us all safe; your gifts are making that possible.
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