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Patient-Centered Care Starts with Analysis

Karen Minich-Pourshadi, for HealthLeaders Media, June 13, 2011
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Watching her mother suffer from a stroke put the meaning of patient-centered care squarely in front of Susan Frampton, PhD, president of Planetree, Inc. in Derby, CT, a subsidiary of Griffin Health Services. It was during this family crisis that she saw firsthand that there was more that could be done to make her mother comfortable while improving her overall care.

The healing design of a space and awareness of clincian actions, such as not turning on the lights at full-power in the middle of the night to check a patient’s vital signs, are areas that Frampton’s organization encourages hospitals to look at as part of patient-centered care. Planetree works with a growing number of hospitals and health systems to enact a patient-centered care model. Frampton and Patrick A. Charmel, president and CEO of Griffin Hospital and Griffin Health Services in Derby and CEO of Planetree, were among the speakers at the April HealthLeaders Media Rounds on Patient-Centered Accountable Care, and they discussed the intricacies of patient communication and the value it provides. 

Providing patient-centered care requires “a cultural shift,” Charmel says. “We need to look at our failures [with patient care] … and find out why they occur. Then we need to share our best practices [with each other],”
he says.

In the case of Griffin Hospital, a 103-bed facility recognized as an industry leader in providing personalized, humanistic consumer-driven healthcare, leaders looked at everything from the ambiance of their hospital to their staff–patient interaction. Their approach to ambience included piano and acoustic guitar music in the lobby and soothing music playing at the entrance to the hospital from the parking lot. They also have a meditation room and green space near the cafeteria to provide a soothing area for patients and their families for visits. When it came to staff–patient interaction, however, Griffin began by concentrating its efforts on heart failure patients, with the goal of reducing 30-day readmission rates.

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