Covid connections — Piedmont Fayette implements ‘Meet My Loved One’ Project

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What the connection looks like. Photo/Submitted.
What the connection looks like. Photo/Submitted.

Piedmont Fayette Hospital’s patient experience team has implemented a “Meet My Loved One” project that enables staff to make a personal connection with Critical Care and Covid-19 patients.

“Meet My Loved One” started at UAB at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic and was adapted by North Mississippi Medical Center where it was named a 2020 Leading Innovator by Press Ganey.

Each day, the patient experience team reviews new Critical Care and Covid admissions and they call the patient’s identified emergency contact to get more personal information about the patient. They put the information on a form, which also allows the team to identify important aspects of the patient’s life that the family believes to be important, as well as caregiving tips.

That form is laminated and goes on the front of the patient’s room door for staff and providers to review.

“The whole idea is for all staff to read about the patient as they dress out to go into the room,” said Mary Hinely, Manager of Patient Experience at Piedmont Fayette. “They can immediately connect with these patients on a more personal level.”

Piedmont launched the program at Piedmont Columbus Regional where Cheryl Tomlinson’s husband, David, is currently fighting for his life in the Covid unit. David, like so many others, has a pre-existing condition that made him susceptible to a more severe form of Covid.

“It’s real scary for all of us to know what he’s been through and how hard he struggles just on a given day to breathe and be mobile […] and then this happens. It’s a little worrisome and I can’t be there. I’ve always been his ears and his voice since he’s hard of hearing,” said Tomlinson. “I just think that the staff being able to get a little personal has been good.”

Piedmont Fayette started the program with critical care patients and their families on Jan. 22.

“Visitation has been limited or restricted at the hospital for much of the pandemic,” said Piedmont Fayette CEO Steve Porter. “This program lets the families of our patients share the information they would share with staff if they were here, giving us some insight into who our patients are when they are feeling well.”

The “Meet My Loved One” program is just one of the innovative strategies Piedmont is employing to maintain communication and connection during the pandemic. The hospitals strongly encourage video calls and have introduced special email addresses so that family members and friends can share photos and messages of encouragement to patients. If you have someone you’d like to send a message to at Piedmont Fayette, email PFHFeelTheLove@piedmont.org.

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