Background: Background: The UNC Meet My Loved One (MMLO) project was implemented during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. As COVID-19 surged, patients and healthcare workers experienced unique factors that diminished recognition of patient personhood and increased healthcare worker (HCW) burnout. Adapted from the University of Alabama’s MMLO initiative, the UNC Palliative Care team implemented the MMLO initiative to help elicit personhood, restore patient dignity, and provide more patient-centered care. The team also set out to better understand MMLO’s effect on patient care as perceived by patient’s loved ones and HCWs.

Purpose: Methods: Primary care teams identified candidates and referred them to the Palliative care team. Medical students on the MMLO team called patients or patients’ loved ones to explain the initiative and ask questions listed on the MMLO form. Respondents’ answers were posted at patients’ bedsides along with collected photos of patients with their loved ones. Survey data was collected from participants (either patient or loved one) immediately prior to and 2-7 days after form completion. Quantitative and qualitative survey data for healthcare workers’ experiences with MMLO were also collected after MMLO implementation.

Description: Results: Using a Mann Whitney test, there is a significant improvement in median satisfactory level between the pre- and post-MMLO surveys of patients’ loved ones regarding their perception of the care provided. Of the 21 HCWs surveyed, 96% agreed or strongly agreed that they learned something new about their patients and 58% stated that they learned something new about themselves after taking care of patients with a completed MMLO. Additionally, 90% of the HCWs stated that the MMLO positively affected their connectedness to their patients, and 76% stated that the MMLO initiative and its impact will positively change their future care of patients.

Conclusions: Conclusions: UNC’s MMLO initiative revealed the importance of connectedness and reflection within the hospital, especially amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. For HCWs, the connectedness to patients at a time of heightened stress reinforced a sense of purpose and gratitude, protecting against burnout. Reflections from participants and HCWs included that the MMLO helped “visualize patient care” and that the form and photos helped HCWs and even patients themselves “know who they and their family are.” The initiative provided a new lens for how others see the medical profession, instilling appreciation and bolstering purpose. Given these positive outcomes, we hope to universally implement the MMLO throughout the UNC Health Care system and promote it more broadly.