The Living History Program© was created in 2001 and since that time has been used in over a hundred hospitals, and nursing homes, and long-term care facilities nationwide including the following:
*Yale-New Haven Medical Center
*University of Sothern California/Keck Cancer Care Center
*VA Hospital, Des Moines Iowa
*University of San Francisco
*Stanford University Hospital
*Wake-Forest Medical Center
*St. Lukes, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
*Woodland in Halifax, Nova Scotia
*Senior Services Inc. in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
The Living History Program was started by Sheila Brune, MS, RN, when she worked as a director of case management in a 250-bed general community hospital in Iowa. After years of reading her patients obituaries and discovering things she wished she had known while caring for the patients, she took the bold step to create a solution to that missing piece of the puzzle. She had often wondered how nurses and others could have the kind of information that is contained in an obituary to help them develop better relationships with patients. She rationalized that compassion, connectivity, customer service and care planning would be positively impacted by the addition of a lilfe story that did not concentrate on a medical or surgical history. When she questioned other healthcare professionals, she found that everyone wanted a detailed social history of their patients, but had no idea how to get it.
Sheila developed the tools and training to build a team of healthcare workers from all walks of life in the medical center. She played on the principal that all employees realize that the patient is the reason for the paycheck and everyone wants to be involved in one way or another in the healthcare encounter. She tapped into employees who seldom had direct patient contact: cooks, business office clerks, IT programers, the librarian, switchboard operators--just anyone who had a passion for making a difference. Those trained to interview and write the patient's story are "storywriters" and The Living History Program gave them a new and exciting reason to come to work each day!