St. John's Mercy is seeking stories from area families about their experience with the children's hospital, which is within the confines of the hospital.
"Physicians learn from books and courses, but over a period of time they learn through their patients," Dr. Joseph Kahn, pediatrician, says. "It's helpful for a doctor to be a patient every once in a while. Physicians need to listen to their patients about what that experience of being in the hospital is like."
That's why St. John's Mercy Children's Hospital is soliciting your thoughts. What happened while your child was in the hospital? What recommendations do you have for doctors and nurses? St. John's will use your feedback to tweak the way it operates.
"Being in the hospital is clearly one of the most stressful times a family can experience," Dr. Kahn says. "Physicians need to understand what goes through the minds of patients and how they can make it a better experience, or at least as pleasant an experience as possible for those patients when they are here in the hospital."
The website, mychildshospital.org, is set up like a blog site. Users can post stories, pictures and video. The hospital is even seeking information from some of its first patients from the late 70s. Your stories will be visible to other users -- something Dr. Kahn says can be beneficial in the healing process.
"It's a stressful times for families in the hospital, and patients walk away from that with a different mindset, with a different set of experiences than before they got here," Dr. Kahn says. "Talking about it always helps. Patients typically feel like 'gee, I'm the only person experiencing this,' or 'I'm the only person that this particular thing is happening to,' and of course that's not the case. A lot of people are in the same boat, a lot of people are in the same situation and it's helpful for patients to share that , to be able to look at the website and see oh somebody else went through this the same as I am."