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News : Health Dec 10, 2012 - 7:30:47 PM

Stamford Hospital receives formal designation as patient-centered hospital

By Stamford Hospital

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STAMFORD, CT – Stamford Hospital has been formally designated by Planetree, Inc. as a “Planetree Designated® Patient-Centered Hospital.” This designation recognizes Stamford Hospital’s achievement and innovation in the delivery of patient-centered care. Stamford Hospital is the second hospital in Connecticut and one of only 17 acute care hospitals in the United States to receive the Patient-Centered Designation since the program’s launch in 2007.

“The Planetree Designation® is the only award that recognizes excellence in person-centeredness across the continuum of care,” said Susan Frampton, President of Planetree, Inc., an international not-for-profit organization that has been at the forefront of the movement to transform healthcare from the perspective of the patient for more than 30 years. “The designation signals to healthcare consumers that Stamford Hospital 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.”

The criteria that a hospital must satisfy to achieve designation reflect what patients, family members and healthcare professionals in hundreds of focus groups say matters most to them during a healthcare experience. 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.

More than 67 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.

Guided by these core components of a patient-centered culture, over the past eight years, Stamford Hospital has implemented a substantial number of initiatives and practices designed to enhance both the patient and staff experience. Those include: patient-directed visitation, the tender touch and care partner programs, and a patient-family advisory council.

“We are truly honored to join the esteemed group of hospitals nationwide who have been designated by Planetree as a patient-centered hospital,” said Brian Grissler, Stamford Hospital President and CEO. “This recognition is validation of the commitment of our entire team to always put our patients first.”

As part of the designation process — which included a site visit by representatives from Planetree — focus groups with recent Stamford Hospital patients and current staff validated that specific patient-centered policies are in place, including non-restrictive visiting hours and an open medical chart policy; that staff members at all levels are involved in the implementation of patient-centered care; and that the hospital’s physical environment is a healing one engaging all of the human senses. The process also included a review of the hospital’s performance on publicly reported patient satisfaction and quality of care measures.

“A strength of the designation program has been the integration of qualitative and quantitative measures,” explained Frampton. “Acute care hospitals in the U.S. awarded designation are held accountable for exceeding quality benchmarks for both quality and patient satisfaction.”

All designation determinations are made by an independent committee of healthcare experts and CEOs from previously designated hospitals.

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