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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Patient-centered care at Planetree: Mom’s first smile

Debi Janway’s story, Part 1:
My mother is very active, 89 years old.  She comes over four days a week in her Thunderbird convertible. 

Recently she had pain in her lower left side, at an 8 or 9 on the ten-point scale.  I’d brought her to the E.R. of our local hospital, but because the pain was so severe, I got her transferred to Planetree’s medical center in Coronado [near San Diego], where I’m an employee.

They put my mother in a private room, and she sighed with relief.  It gave me peace, too.  I was right there with her during the evaluation, included in the conversations, since they knew I was her care advocate.  As a Care Partner, they offered me a tour, showing me where the healing garden was, where the kitchen was, where to get meals, etc.  It was amazing!  That’s routinely available to the Care Partners.  I put my name on the board, giving the information to the nurse about how to reach me and discuss the plan of care.  I had told the nurses I’d like to be in attendance when the physicians were rounding, because my Mom is hard of hearing.  They’d move in closer so she could hear.  The doctors were wonderful in taking care of her.  Even on the weekend when I wasn’t working in the hospital, they called me.

We weren’t even there an hour before the Environmental Services technician came in and offered a warm moist washcloth all rolled up.  Mom asked what she was doing. The answer, “to help you relax, and wash,” with an explanation about Planetree’s way of helping patients heal, brought the first smile I’d seen on my Mom in 15-20 hours!  She said it felt so good, it was amazing!

Susan Stone, RN, PhD, the CEO of Sharp Coronado Hospital, elaborated:
Handing washcloths to patients with aromatherapy twice a day was part of a program developed by Housekeeping to be a partner in the patient’s care.  This has been a cornerstone program for them in helping them change from a hierarchy to a team.  We’d made a commitment back in 2001 to spread the patient-centered model house-wide.  We created a hospital-wide work team to create a Designation Process.  We’ve identified 11 areas of expertise, including a Healing Environment, use of Alternative Therapies, etc.  These are the criteria used for awarding unit-specific Planetree Designations in addition to two Designation with Distinction honors.

As another example, if a patient’s pain is out of control, the patient might ask a housekeeper, Will you pray with me?  They might not ask that of a nurse, but they’d ask it of Housekeeping.  That can be really important for their healing.  Also, they can brush the patient’s hair.  It changes the whole dynamic; the patient understands the housekeeper isn’t just there to clean the room.

Ken’s comment:  The hospital’s patient satisfaction scores on the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) were in the top 5% among U.S. hospitals.  Employee satisfaction rated in the top 2%, earning a Morehead Workplace Award, according to a presentation by the Chief Nursing Officer of Sharp Coronado Hospital. 

Thanks to Susan Stone and Debi Janway for sharing their story.  Look for Part 2 soon.

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