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'My Story' Connects Medical Staff with Patients' Pasts

Photos: Public Domain via Pixabay

Hospitals around the country are connecting patients with caregivers in a powerful new way, using simple pen and paper to give patients room to share their story. Using the communication tool called “My Story," health care providers like Lee Health now have large sheets of paper hanging in patients' rooms, giving family members a chance to share their loved one's past, hopes, and more.

Janice Janssen was alarmed to wake up from an unexpected surgery at Gulf Coast Medical Center. A breathing tube in her throat made it impossible to speak. Through the "My Story" tools, she forged connections with the nurses caring for her: using the "My Story" tools to share who she was, humanizing a patient as well as sharing herself as a person.

Janice and her son Dave Beaty join Gulf Coast Live to talk about how “My Story” changed their hospital experience and gave Janice a voice when she was voiceless.

Also joining the show is Janice’s ICU nurse, Matt Casey, discussing how "My Story” made a difference in connecting with patients. And we’ll hear from the Gulf Coast Medical Center ICU Director Linda Odnoha about how adding the human connection can improve care.

Matthew Smith is a reporter and producer of WGCU’s Gulf Coast Live.