Loma Linda, CA (PRWEB) September 24, 2012
A woman who has just been told by her doctor that she has breast cancer likely has numerous questions about what to do next.
Connie Haglund’s job is to offer a hand.
As a nurse cancer patient navigator at Loma Linda University Medical Center, Haglund is charged with helping patients make their way through the sometimes complicated health care process: from coordination of care, to assembling a multidisciplinary team to develop a personalized treatment plan for each patient.
Showcasing innovative strategies at Loma Linda University Medical Center that put patients first in health care is a highlight of the upcoming 2012 Planetree Annual Conference
“Patients can often get very overwhelmed by the whole process,” Haglund said. “I tell them I am there to provide them the education that they need and to help them get answers for any question they might have. For the most part, patients feel very relieved that they are not on their own.”
Loma Linda University Medical Center plans to highlight some of the innovative health care strategies, such as pairing cancer patients with a patient navigator, at a gathering of health care leaders and a tour of medical facilities as part of the upcoming 2012 Planetree Annual Conference.
The conference is set for Sunday, Sept. 30, through Wednesday, Oct. 3, at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa, 74-855 Country Club Drive, Palm Desert, Calif., 92260.
As host hospital for the event, Loma Linda University Medical Center will be giving conference attendees tours of the different hospitals within the organization, including Loma Linda University Medical Center, Loma Linda University Medical Center East Campus, and Loma Linda University Heart & Surgical Hospital – three of the six hospitals in the system. Health care professionals, hospital administrators, and health care providers are among the delegates expected at the conference.
Among the services to be highlighted at the tour of the hospitals is the cancer patient navigator program, which supports the Planetree concept of co-location. This concept calls for pulling together different care providers, who don’t typically work together, into one space where they can collaborate to design the best treatment plan and have continuous conversation. This creates an ideal scenario for care that is specifically tailored to and supportive of each patient.
Founded by a patient in 1978, Planetree is a not-for-profit organization that works with hospitals and health care organizations all over the world to improve the delivery of health care by putting the needs of patients first.
Judy Chatigny, executive director of Loma Linda University Cancer Center, said adopting Planetree’s philosophy of putting patients first helps demystify health care for many patients and helps them manage the stresses brought on by their illness.
Steps taken to improve the patients’ treatment experience range from restructuring the Cancer Center’s waiting room to make it more comfortable for patients, to redesigning the center’s logo to include an inspirational “Tree of Hope.”
“In some cases, health care has gone so far in one direction, which is to be efficient, and in so doing, we sometimes miss out on the human element that patients want,” Chatigny said. “What we’re hoping to do is to build something that patients will respond to and help make them feel better.”
About Loma Linda University Medical Center (LLUMC)
Loma Linda University Medical Center’s comprehensive health system includes: Loma Linda University Medical Center, Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital, Loma Linda University Medical Center East Campus, Loma Linda University Behavioral Medicine Center, Loma Linda University Heart & Surgical Hospital, Loma Linda University Medical Center – Murrieta, and physician clinics. LLUMC is widely respected as a health care leader and is known for its pioneering and cutting-edge work in such areas as organ transplants, proton treatment for cancers, cardiac care, physical rehabilitation, acute pediatric and adult care, as well as treatments for chemical dependence and other behavioral disorders. LLUMC is the only Level 1 Trauma Center in the San Bernardino, Riverside, Inyo, and Mono counties, which covers over 40,000 square miles in Southern California. With a total of 1,076 beds, the Loma Linda University Health System includes the only children’s hospital in the region. Loma Linda University Medical Center sees over 30,000 inpatients and more than 500,000 outpatient visits a year.