Monday, April 21, 2014

Columbia Memorial Hospital (CMH) has been recognized as one of the world's most patient-centered hospitals.  Following a rigorous review of CMH's culture, including programs, policies, practices and the environment of care, the hospital has been officially designated a "Planetree Patient-Centered Hospital." Planetree Designation identifies CMH among those hospitals doing the most advanced work in patient-centered care. It is only the second hospital in Oregon, and one of only 40 healthcare organizations worldwide, to have received the Patient-Centered Designation since the program's launch in 2007.

"Words do not describe how proud I am of the entire CMH team. This outstanding accomplishment is due to their collective efforts to improve the patient experience. The CMH team deserves this recognition, but most of all, our patients deserve this level of care," said Chief Executive Officer Erik Thorsen.

Planetree Designation is the only award that recognizes excellence in patient-centered care. It essentially tells healthcare consumers that CMH is a hospital where providers partner with patients and families, and where patient comfort, dignity, empowerment and well being are prioritized with providing top-quality clinical care.

Planetree—an international not-for-profit organization—has been at the forefront of this movement to transform healthcare from the perspective of the patient for nearly 30 years, taking the lead in defining what is meant by "patient-centered care." As such, the organization is uniquely qualified to offer this formal recognition distinguishing healthcare organizations committed to providing patient-centered and holistic care.

The program is coordinated by Planetree; however all designation determinations are made by an independent designation committee whose membership includes national health care experts with experience with the American Hospital Association, Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and The Joint Commission. Committee members also include CEOs from previously designated hospitals.

"In 2010, the Board made achieving Planetree Designation a vital organizational goal. From the Board's view, obtaining designation was necessary to validate, through specific measurement criteria, CMH as an organization truly 'walking the talk' of patient-centered care," said Bill Lind, president of the CMH Board of Trustees.

To achieve Planetree Designation, CMH had to satisfy more than 60 specific criteria that address components of a patient-centered healthcare experience, including patient-provider interactions, access to information, family involvement, the physical environment, food and nutrition, spirituality, arts and entertainment, and integrative therapies. In addition, the criteria focus on how the hospital is supporting its staff, opportunities for staff, patients and families to have a voice in the way care is delivered, and the ways that the hospital is reaching beyond its walls to care for its community.

These criteria have been developed using feedback from hundreds of focus groups with patients, family members and healthcare professionals around the world. This qualitative data aligns with the growing evidence-base for patient-centered care, and establishes the Planetree Designation as a concrete framework for defining and measuring excellence in patient-centeredness.

As part of the designation process, Planetree representatives visited CMH in December 2012 to speak directly with patients, family members, hospital leadership, staff, physicians, and members of the Planetree Steering Team. A series of focus groups were held in which participants candidly shared their experiences at CMH.

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