Patients and Families Turn to “Virtual Visits” with CaringBridge as Hospitals Take Measures to Combat Flu Outbreaks

Free online and mobile services from CaringBridge let patients stay connected with loved ones, even at hospitals that have put limits on visitation due to flu

Eagan, Minn., (January 28, 2014) — Patients at hospitals that have put limits on visits due to flu outbreaks can still enjoy get-well wishes and tap into other support using free services from CaringBridge.

Some hospitals across the U.S. are placing higher restrictions on their visitation policies due to the threat of H1N1 or other strains of influenza.

But the limits, intended to reduce the spread of viruses, don’t mean that patients have to feel isolated. With CaringBridge, patients and their families can create their own virtual hospital room on Patients, family and friends can gather to exchange health updates, love and support. Setting up a CaringBridge site takes just a few minutes.

“Love and support play an important role in healing,” said Sona Mehring, founder and CEO of CaringBridge. “Our services enable patients to stay connected with their loved ones, even when the hospital needs to put limits on in-person visits.”

More than 500,000 people connect through CaringBridge every day. Users have created more than 420,000 CaringBridge sites since the service started in 1997.

CaringBridge recently unveiled new features, including:
• A Planner – an online calendar to help coordinate tasks – incorporated into individual CaringBridge sites, giving people one location to learn about and offer help to their loved one.
• The ability for visitors to suggest tasks for a loved one’s Planner.
• Pre-created Guestbook messages called CarePosts™ which make it easier for people visiting from a mobile device to quickly leave a caring message.
• Enhanced photo, video and commenting capabilities.
• Private messaging.
• Individual profiles for all users to share information about themselves and easily track the Sites they author and/or visit.
• Responsive design to provide a user-friendly experience across devices.

Providing a safe place to share updates and support during a health journey continues to be a key focus for CaringBridge. Personal data is never sold, CaringBridge sites are free of advertising and a variety of privacy settings are offered.

About CaringBridge
CaringBridge is a nonprofit offering many ways for people to care for each other during any type of health event. Its mission is to amplify the love, hope and compassion in the world, making each health journey easier. For more information, visit