First Annual Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month to be Commemorated October 2007

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Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell signs first state proclamation recognizing Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month.

Planetree, Inc. announced today that next month has been officially designated "Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month." In commemoration, a month-long national awareness building campaign will recognize the work of hospitals and other health care institutions that are complementing their clinical capabilities with a patient-centered approach to care that prioritizes patient comfort, dignity, empowerment and well-being.

Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month is being sponsored and coordinated by Planetree, a not-for-profit health care organization that partners with health care providers around the globe to advance patient-centered approaches to care. The Derby, Connecticut-based organization's work to launch Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month has been recognized by Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell who recently became the first Governor to sign an official statement that recognizes the importance of patient-centered care to all Connecticut citizens and proclaims October 2007 as Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month. Governors from across the country are expected to sign similar proclamations in the coming weeks.

The theme for the Month -- "A Patient-Centered Revolution in Health Care" -- was chosen to spotlight growing interest in patient-centered care, both among health care professionals and among patients themselves, who are increasingly knowledgeable and discerning consumers of health care services. This "revolution" comes on the heels of a 2001 report issued by the Institute of Medicine that names patient-centeredness as one of six aims for a high quality healthcare system.

"For years health care providers have known, intrinsically, that providing patient-centered care is the 'right' thing to do," said Susan Frampton, President of Planetree. "Now, though, we know that not only does it feel good and right to provide patient-centered care, but that this approach to care is at the core of providing good medicine. Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month is an opportunity for us to collectively shine a light on what providing patient-centered care can mean for patients and their loved ones."

There are currently more than 125 hospitals, continuing care facilities and outpatient clinics across North America and abroad that are putting into practice the Planetree model of patient-centered care, the components of which include access to information, active involvement of loved ones, and a healing environment. As part of Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month, Planetree is encouraging its affiliated organizations and other healthcare providers to display an official proclamation stating their commitment to the values that define patient-centered care, among them:

  •     "A patient is an individual to be cared for, not a medical condition to be treated."
  •     "Our patients are our partners and have knowledge and expertise that is essential to their care."
  •     "Our patients' family and friends are also partners and we welcome their involvement." and
  •     "It is our responsibility to maximize patients' opportunities for choices and to respect those choices.

Planetree will provide a personalized copy of the Proclamation for Patient-Centered Care to any interested hospital or healthcare provider at no charge.

Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month will be kicked off at Planetree's Annual Conference, to be held October 2-5 in Williamsburg, Virginia. Activities aimed at celebrating, promoting and building momentum for further advances in patient-centered care will occur throughout the month of October, both at a national level and at the local level within individual hospitals and health care centers. Consumers are encouraged to commemorate the month by taking steps to become more active partners in their care and consumer resources are available on the Planetree website at http://www.planetree.org. For more information about Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month, please contact Carrie Brady, Planetree's Quality and Designation Policy Strategist, at (203)732-1381 or via email at cbrady@planetree.org.

Founded by a patient, Planetree has been at the forefront of the effort to personalize, humanize and demystify the health care system for nearly three decades. Today, Planetree is a global community of 80 organizations representing more than 125 acute care hospitals, continuing care facilities, outpatient clinics, and consumer health libraries; over 25,000 staffed beds; 1.3 million admissions annually; fifteen million outpatient visits; and more than 100,000 annual births.

Contact:
Lisa Donnarumma
(203) 732-1377
ldonnarumma(at)planetree.org

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