About me board

Matt Brown, RN, Geriatric Nurse Navigator at Sibley, explained his connection to this project by saying, “anytime I am out and about with my father and he is addressed as 'Mr. Brown' he will have to correct them and will say 'Call me Charlie.'  My dad is not unique in the sense of he wants to be called what he wants to be called.  We should be doing the same for our patients.”  Matt's leadership on this project is exactly why it has been able to reach the place it is today.     

Originally a small piece of the transitions redesign project, the About Me project branched off as we continued to hear feedback:  patients want to be known as people and want consistency in feeling like we know them, not just their ailment.  About Me empowers patients by providing an intuitive, secure way of sharing conversation starting information with Sibley health providers.

With the About Me board, Patients can add personal details like photos, a nickname, goals, and "you should know" items that are displayed on a screen in their hospital room which provide the “spark” for dialog.  An app would allow for patients to customize and adjust the information displayed on the screen.  From interviews, we realized that patients are not always most concerned with their health, there are other things on their minds.  The About Me is not a new concept, but it is a new effort to connect with patients more as people than just a bed number and a diagnoses.  If one conversation happens as a result of a few words on the wall and helps a patient feel better, than that is a success.  Someone once said “when you put on a hospital gown it’s like putting on a cloak of anonymity.”  Our patients are lawyers and teachers and church clergy and they like to garden and play basketball, and they worry about world peace and shoveling their neighbor’s snow.  Fostering more complete relationships with them will help us give better and more effective care. 

Our initial prototype consisted of a powerpoint slide with some simple facts about the patient typed in.   The slide be personalized, printed, and posted in the patient's room.  The proof-of-concept was an overwhelming success with perhaps the most impactful moment being when patients asked for the sheet to move with them as they transitioned to different rooms in the hospital or back home.  That was when it clicked.  The Hub is currently building out this app to allow for a more scalable system to be used by a wider patient population.