Storytelling as an Effective Population Health Management Strategy
How much do you really know about your patients? If you and your staff haven’t asked the people you treat to talk about their personal experiences, their families, their careers, and the things they care about, you could be missing a valuable opportunity to connect with them on a deeper level—and you may also be missing the chance to improve their health status and their outcomes in the process.
Beth Sanders, BA, Founder and CEO of LifeBio, which is headquartered in Marysville, Ohio, is determined to change this fact. LifeBio has grown over the past four years by providing tools and resources to help health care organizations, assisted-living centers, counselors, family members, and others make it easy to capture people’s life stories and experiences, giving them the respect and validation they deserve.
The life story includes a number of key elements, such as influential people (parents, grandparents, etc.), childhood memories, historical events, adulthood achievements and experiences, and the frame that connects all of the pieces—the person’s values, beliefs, goals, and vision for the future.
Sanders says that such reminiscing is very therapeutic and can even lead to better health for the patient. This is especially true for those over age 65. Senior health is a growing concern with the size of the Baby Boomer market, so interventions like reminiscence therapy are being used more and more.
“New technology makes creating and accessing the person’s story easier—anywhere, anytime—to improve patient satisfaction and to smooth transitions,” Sanders says. She points out that while the concept of recognizing the power of storytelling is certainly not new, organizations now have more incentives than ever to put the idea to work in health care.
For more on the remarkable benefits of patient storytelling, including research from the Mayo Clinic suggesting mood improvements for patients with dementia, read our full article now: Why Engaging Patients to Tell Their Life Stories Can Lead to Happier Endings
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