Carolinas HealthCare System

Patient-Centered Care

Planetree Designated logoAt CMC-Mercy, we understand that when you walk through our door, you are more than a collection of symptoms. That's why we dispense compassion and kindness in addition to medicine, and why we consider your emotional and spiritual well-being as we treat your physical ailments. Our philosophy means every aspect of our treatment; every business decision – even our technology and architectural selections – is designed with the patient in mind.

CMC-Mercy, a Planetree Designated Patient-Centered Hospital

In 2011 we became a “Planetree Designated Patient-Centered Hospital” by Planetree, Inc., a non-profit organization that helps facilities create patient-centered healing environments. We are the first and only hospital in the state of North Carolina to receive this designation. Physicians and staff understand that no two patients are alike, and tailoring care to each patient’s specific condition makes a profound difference during recovery from an illness, injury or surgery.

“Being formally recognized as a Planetree hospital ensures our patients and their families they will be at the center of every healthcare decision that is made,” said Chan Roush, President of CMC-Mercy. “CMC-Mercy is a place where our focus is entirely on the patient, their families and providing the very best personalized care at all times.”

Designation Process

As part of the designation process — which included a site visit by representatives from Planetree, Inc. — focus groups were conducted with recent CMC-Mercy patients and current staff, validating that specific patient-centered policies are in place. The process also included a review of the hospital’s performance on publicly reported patient satisfaction and quality of care measures. More than 50 specific criteria address components of a patient-centered healthcare experience, including patient-provider interactions, access to information, family involvement, the physical environment, food and nutrition, spirituality, arts and entertainment, and integrative therapies. The criteria also focus on how the hospital supports its staff; opportunities for staff, patients and families to have a voice in the way care is delivered; and the ways the hospital reaches beyond its walls to care for its community.

“The Planetree designation is the only award that recognizes excellence in person-centeredness across the continuum of care,” said Susan Frampton, President of Planetree, Inc. “The designation signals to healthcare consumers that CMC-Mercy is a hospital where providers partner with patients and families, and where patient comfort, dignity, empowerment and well-being are prioritized with providing top-quality clinical care.”

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CMC-Mercy Services

As a Planetree Hospital, CMC-Mercy offers services not found in other acute care hospitals throughout North Carolina. Its new philosophy promotes the development and implementation of alternative models of healthcare that focus on nurturing the mind, body and spirit simultaneously. Patients are offered such amenities as massage and music therapy, bedside reports, where a patient can speak with his or her nurse regarding the plan of care for that shift, an art program, 24-hour visitation, an open medical records policy, aromatherapy and pet visitation. Patients also can participate in the care partner program which allows a family member or friend to serve as an advocate for the patient and assist him or her during the stay. Involvement ranges from small personal tasks to discussions with physicians and staff about diagnoses and treatment options.

“We believe that dialogue and the exchange of information with the care team empowers patients,” said Dael Waxman, MD, Medical Director, Patient-Centered Programming at CMC-Mercy. “It allows patients to become active participants in making healthcare decisions. We recognize they are experts on their experience of health and illness; therefore, rather than directing all of the care, our position as healthcare providers is one of partnering with patients towards maximizing their healing and wellness.”

CMC-Mercy recognizes that:

  • A patient is an individual to be cared for, not a medical condition to be treated.
  • Each patient is a unique person, with diverse needs.
  • Patients are partners and have knowledge and expertise that is essential to their care.
  • Patients' family and friends are also partners.
  • Access to understandable health information is essential to empower patients to participate in their care.
  • The opportunity to make decisions is essential to the well-being of patients.
  • Every staff member is a caregiver, whose role is to meet the needs of each patient.

Patient-centered care components:

  • Human interaction
  • Family, friends and social support
  • Information and education
  • Nutritional and nurturing aspects of food
  • Architectural and interior design
  • Arts and entertainment
  • Spirituality
  • Human touch
  • Complementary therapies
  • Healthy communities

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