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Carolinas HealthCare System
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Title
Carolinas HealthCare System Hospital Only in North Carolina named “Patient-Centered Hospital” by Planetree, Inc.
Date
03/15/2015
Article

Designation recognizes high-quality services and patient-driven approach, including alternative therapies, open medical chart policy and patient involvement in hospital planning

CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 9, 2015 – Carolinas HealthCare System’s Carolinas Medical Center-Mercy for the second time has been named a Planetree Designated® Patient-Centered Hospital, the only award in the nation that highlights excellence in patient-centered care across the continuum of care. The designation recognizes the hospital’s achievements in and approach to care delivery, in which clinical providers partner with patients and families to identify and meet patient needs and preferences.

CMC-Mercy was first named a Planetree site in 2011 and was among the first hospitals nationwide to achieve the designation, awarded for a three-year term. Today, it remains the only hospital in the state of North Carolina and one of only 27 hospitals worldwide to receive the designation since the program launched in 2007.

“At Carolinas Health Care we work together to create a consistent experience for every person that prioritized the safety of our patients, excellent quality care and superior customer service,” said Connie Bonebrake, chief patient experience officer for the System. "The Planetree designation is affirmation of our commitment to put patients first, always."

As part of the re-designation process, Planetree representatives visited CMC-Mercy in July 2014 and met with nearly 130 individuals, including former and current patients, community members, healthcare providers and other teammates. They also reviewed the hospital’s performance on publicly reported measures for patient satisfaction and quality of care. An independent committee of national healthcare experts and chief executive officers from previously designated hospitals made the Planetree designation decisions. 

“Planetree was impressed with our culture of caring, which is centered on meeting the needs and preferences of our patients, families and teammates,” said Scott Jones, vice president and facility executive for CMC-Mercy, a 196-bed acute care facility. “We demonstrated sustained patient-centered practices and policies in over 60 criteria, including access to information, family involvement, food and nutrition, spirituality, and integrative therapies.”

CMC-Mercy offers several approaches to healing, including alternative therapies through music, acupuncture, pets and massage, and healing touch. It also offers non-restrictive visiting hours and an open medical chart policy, staff involvement in patient-centered care, and inclusion of patient and family perspectives in hospital planning efforts. CMC-Mercy will soon join other Carolinas HealthCare System facilities in offering a healing garden and interactive patient care and education technology in hospital rooms.

In June 2014, the System opened an Integrative Health department focused on standardizing and spreading the use of alternative therapies across its facilities. It also seeks to routinely engage patients and family members through its patient and family advisory councils, where advisors share their voice and play an integral part in the planning of projects and resources to benefit current and future patients.

CMC-Mercy provides a full-range of services, from emergency room care to surgery to rehabilitation. It is home to some of the area's most advanced specialty services and centers – including a Bariatric Center, Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute, Foot and Ankle Institute, Hip and Knee Center – and a family medicine residency training program. In January, it was recognized with the 2015 Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence™ by Healthgrades for providing the highest clinical quality and maintaining the best patient outcomes.

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