The Shore Health System website now offers access to the services of CaringBridge, a charitable nonprofit organization providing free websites that connect families and friends during a serious health event, care and recovery. A CaringBridge website gives patients and caregivers a place to provide health updates, post photos and receive messages of hope and encouragement in a guestbook.
The move to add CaringBridge to the Shore Health System website was initiated in 2008 by members of the Nursing Shared Leadership Global Council. This group of nurses was looking for a way to help patients and their families stay informed during a health crisis. The Global Council contacted Ruth Sullivan, MS, RNC, Shore Health System director of patient and family advocacy, for help in getting connected to CaringBridge.
“One of the areas patients rate us on when they participate in satisfaction surveys is how well we communicate with them and their family members while they are in our hospitals,” says Sullivan. “We also know that patients and their personal caregivers need support during an illness. CaringBridge seemed like the perfect way to enhance communication and to safeguard patient privacy since families choose what information they want to share with others.”
Through CaringBridge individuals set up free, easy-to-build websites that they use to post news about the birth of a child or the illness of a loved one. Sullivan says, “Friends, family and co-workers can post get well messages and send offers of help to ease the burden of an extended illness or a medical emergency.”
Sona Mehring, founder and executive director of CaringBridge, says, “Patients and their families greatly benefit from the ease of communication that CaringBridge provides. Instead of spending time making phone calls and sending e-mails to keep everyone updated, their energy can be focused on caring for the patient.”
Caring Bridge can be accessed through www.shorehealth.org. Click on the Patient and Visitors section at the top of the home page.