CaringBridge

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CaringBridge is a charitable 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1997 which offers free personalized websites to people facing a serious medical condition or hospitalization, undergoing medical treatment and/or recovering from a significant accident, illness, injury or procedure.[1][2] Its functionality is similar to a blog. The service allows family members and friends to receive consistent information via a single website, and eliminates the need to place and receive numerous telephone calls. Visitors who are provided the personal Website address (or URL) and password, if required, can read updates on the patient's condition and post their own messages of support and encouragement to the family.

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Purpose

CaringBridge's mission is to "amplify the love, hope and compassion in the world, making each health journey easier." [3]

CaringBridge sites make it easier for patients, caregivers, families and friends to exchange information about a patient's medical condition on an ongoing basis. The websites are designed to become conduits between patients, their families, friends, neighbors and colleagues.[4] When visiting an individual’s website, visitors can post messages of support during a significant medical condition, crisis or event.

How it works

Anyone can set up a site for him/herself, a friend or family member. Sites can be accessed on CaringBridge.org, a mobile site m.caringbridge.org, or with an iPhone or Android app. The creator enters basic information about the patient or situation, posts photos, and writes about the current condition. As the situation changes, the creator posts updates to that information. When those updates are made, anyone who registered on that website can receive an e-mail or text message notifying them that an update is posted. Guests can also leave messages for the patient or family in an online guestbook on that site.

Website authors can share journaling and website tasks with a co-author. Co-authors can add journal entries, post photos and change website settings, allowing multiple people to be directly involved in communicating about a health journey.

Privacy

CaringBridge is a space for personal and private conversations. CaringBridge does not share or sell user information to anyone for any reason. In addition to the standard security features, site authors can choose additional levels of security on their site, including adding a password or creating an approved visitor list. The only way to receive a CaringBridge site name is by requesting it from the person who created the site.

CaringBridge is qualified to display the TRUSTe and HON Code privacy seals because of its privacy policy[5] and business practices.

Usage

Each day, over half-a-million people connect through CaringBridge. In total, those websites have received nearly two billion visits from family and friends.[6]

History

CaringBridge was started in 1997[7] by Sona Mehring when a close friend suffered a life-threatening pregnancy. To keep family and friends informed about the critical situation, Mehring created a website.

The site allowed family members to communicate information to a wide circle of people without disturbing the mother’s need for rest or placing additional demands on hospital staff.

CaringBridge is headquartered in Eagan and has about 70 employees.[8]

Donations

Donations to CaringBridge support the website and do not go to individuals or families.

Affiliations

CaringBridge is a member of the National Health Council.[9]

CaringBridge is listed as an accredited Better Business Bureau (BBB) charity.[10]

See also

References

External links