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Q&A: Mountain States Health CEO on Patient-Centered Care

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, October 17, 2012

HL: Can you provide some examples of how patient-centered care changes processes at MSHA?

DV:
In the past, with construction projects or even equipment purchases, we as the caregivers would decide what we were going to get for the patients. We would build something or buy that equipment and find out it didn't work for the patients. For some reason we never bothered to ask them.

We changed that. A few years back we put beds out in the mall in Johnson City and we let people try them and rate them. We ended up making a bed selection off of what the people were telling us they would like if they were a patient at our hospitals.

In almost all of our construction projects consumers are involved with the architects to help lay out the design from the patients' standpoint. That is a change in philosophy that we never had before. Other times we will ask patients in the hospital, 'We are in the process of buying this equipment. What do you think?' We let them try that out in the hospital.

We created out of this a book about three- or four-inches thick with all the patient-centered care parameters that our construction projects are going to have. We didn't do any of that before. Now we use a lot of natural light, [for] way finding. All the things The Center for Health Design said you should be doing our hospitals have in them.

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