Friday, September 17, 2010

Fauquier Hospital Awarded Designation as Patient-Centered Hospital

Fauquier Hospital has been formally designated by Planetree, Inc. as a “Planetree designated patient-centered hospital” for the second time in three years. This designation recognizes Fauquier Hospital’s achievement and innovation in fostering a culture within the hospital in which professional caregivers partner with patients and families, and where patient comfort, dignity, empowerment and well-being are prioritized with providing top-quality clinical care.

To become a designated Planetree patient-centered hospital, Fauquier Hospital was asked to demonstrate that specific patient-centered policies have been sustained over time. Designation status further requires the hospital to meet or exceed national performance benchmarks for quality and patient satisfaction.

Three years ago, Fauquier Hospital was among the first five hospitals nationwide to achieve the designation (which is awarded for a three-year term). This re-designation recognizes Fauquier Hospital’s sustained excellence in patient-centered care. Today, Fauquier remains the only designated patient-centered hospital in Virginia, and one of only eleven in all of North America.

Rodger Baker, president and CEO of Fauquier Hospital was delighted about the designation. “It was a long and enlightening journey to achieve Planetree designation in 2007. It required a complete culture change in every department. Our next challenge was to maintain that culture and continue to innovate and improve our patients’ experience. This Planetree designation offers affirmation that we are delivering on the challenge.”

The designation criteria are based largely on direct patient feedback, in which patients across the country shared what is most important to them during hospitalization. The criteria cover both quality of care and the ways in which that care is delivered, addressing 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 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 eleven years Fauquier Hospital has implemented a substantial number of initiatives and practices designed to enhance both the patient and staff experience. When Fauquier Hospital was renovated in 2001, it was designed with Planetree principles in mind. The use of space, light and design taken directly from nature resulted in a beautiful facility that is more reminiscent of an elegant hotel than a traditional hospital. Artwork on the walls and soothing music in the hallways welcome visitors; smiling and friendly staff and volunteers offer support at every turn.

Other Planetree features and programs include:
• Single-patient rooms allow patients to heal in quiet privacy. Visitors can stay overnight on in-room beds. Open visiting hours allow loved ones to visit anytime the patient would like.
• An open-chart policy encourages patients to understand and take part in their own care. Patients are encouraged to enlist a care partner who can help and support the healing process.
• Alternative therapies are available for those who would like them – Reiki energy therapy and massage, for instance.
• A patient advocate/concierge visits each patient within 24 hours of admission to offer support and address any concerns.
• Trained pet therapy dogs visit patients who welcome a furry visitor.
• Special attention is paid to the nutritional needs of patients. They order delicious meals from a menu, and food is delivered according to the patients’ needs, not on a rigid schedule. Visitors may also order “room service” from our Bistro restaurant.
• Spiritual needs are addressed through a network of volunteer chaplains, who pray for patients who request this comfort and visit with patients who would like company.
• A VIPeds program (Very Important Pediatrics) addresses the needs of our youngest patients, providing comfort and fun distractions for children in the hospital.
• Planetree “retreats” held regularly for staff support patient-centered concepts. These ideas are taught during the staff orientation process and are continually reinforced. Employees who embody Planetree ideals are recognized and rewarded frequently for their efforts.
• Managers and supervisors enlist the input of staff on decisions that affect their work. Many in-hospital committees are staff-run.
• In its efforts to restore, promote and maintain the health of the community, Fauquier Health has contributed more than $11.8 million in education, charity care and free health screenings to the community.

“Planetree is very pleased to award Fauquier Hospital this designation,” said Susan Frampton, Ph.D., Planetree’s president. “This recognition differentiates Fauquier as a hospital firmly committed to ensuring that its patients, staff and visitors feel cared for, supported, listened to and empowered as partners in the healthcare experience.”

Planetree is a 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. Today, the Planetree membership network is a global community of more than 250 acute care hospitals, continuing care facilities, outpatient clinics and consumer health libraries.

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