St. Mary's Offers Personal Web sites for Patients

St. Mary's Advanced Care Hospital has partnered with caringbridge, the most widely used online service in the country, to help patients and their loved ones stay connected during what can be a stressful time.

They log onto the hospital's Web site where caringbridge helps them set up their own Web site in three steps. The template is already there with space for an online journal, a guest book and a picture gallery. Patients give family and friends a password, and they log on from anywhere in the world to find out how a surgery went or to see a new baby!

Vickie Detroy, Planetree Services Director, says, "Once they're discharge from the hospital, they can continue to use the Web site that was created while they were here indefinitely. If you want to put your newborn on a Web page, you can keep that Web page active until they go to college or beyond if you so desire."

St. Mary's has invested in wireless Internet connection throughout its campus. They're working on getting clusters of computers, so patients can update their Web sites more often. They may even have it to where you can check out a laptop and keep it in your room!

And the best part, the cost does not show up on your hospital bill! Caringbridge is non-profit; therefore, St. Mary's pays a sponsorship fee for the service, but it's free to patients!