Since 1978, the Global Leader in Advancing Person-Centered Care

Person-Centered Care Designation

Person-Centered Care Designation and Tiered Recognition

Planetree Person-Centered Care Designation represents the highest level of achievement in patient-centered care based on evidence and standards. The program provides a structured, operational framework for evaluating the organizational systems and processes necessary to sustain organizational culture change. Through a set of experience-based and evidence-based criteria, the program converts the aspirational aim of becoming more “patient-centered” into something that is defined, attainable and measurable. (Click here to learn more)


Downloadable Resources


The Self-Assessment Tool and the Planetree Person- Centered Care Designation Criteria


Planetree Designated Sites

View Full Listing of Planetree Designated Sites



The Criteria


Organized around eleven core dimensions of patient-centered care, including structures and functions necessary for culture change; human interactions; promoting patient education, choice and responsibility; family involvement; dining, food and nutrition; healing environment; healthy communities; and measurement, the criteria uniquely capture the depth and scope of what it takes to implement and maintain a patient-centered culture. The criteria focus on the patient experience, as well as the experiences of family members, front-line staff, leadership teams, the medical staff, patient and family advisors and board members.

The Recognition Tiers


Planetree's recognition program is organized around three tiers: Bronze, Silver and Gold, each representing incremental levels of achievement in patient-centered care. This tiered approach drives quality and accelerates excellence in patient-centered care by making the path to designation more affirming, accessible and structured. The intermediate levels of recognition preceding Gold-level designation serve as intermediate milestones that can further galvanize organizations to progress in their culture change journeys. They become concrete targets for goal setting, tracking progress and celebrating successes. All three tiers are organized around the designation criteria. Each tier builds on the preceding ones and the award of each tier is based on a site satisfying an established percentage of the criteria set

The Process


In order to achieve designation (or either of the intermediate recognition tiers), an applicant site undergoes a rigorous yet collaborative process to validate that its patient-centered activities effectively meet the spirit and intent of the designation criteria. Evaluation of fulfillment includes a self-assessment, submission of written documentation, and an on-site validation visit that consists of the following:

  • Observation of services
  • Facility walk-through
  • Focus groups with patients/residents and families
  • Focus groups with staff and leadership (including members of the board)
  • Meeting with Patient/Resident and Family Advisory Council
  • Random patient/resident and staff interviews
  • A review of outcomes measurement data
  • Meeting with the patient-centered implemenation team

Following the site visit, the site receives a status report with suggestions related to opportunities to further enhance patient-/resident-centered care. The report also includes targeted areas requiring follow-up action from the site before a designation determination can be made. A committee of healthcare experts, inclusive of health care executives, nurse leaders, patient advocates and policy makers, makes the final determination on designation.

The Benefits of Planetree Person-Centered Care Designation


Drives Overall Quality Improvement Efforts- As a group, the Planetree Designated® Patient-Centered Hospitals exceed the national averages in each publicly reported HCAHPS category. This performance level has been maintained in every quarter since HCAHPS public reporting began, demonstrating that comprehensive culture change is a viable solution for sustained HCAHPS success. Furthermore, Designated Hospitals outperform national benchmarks on the CMS process of care core measures and have lower readmission rates. Generates Momentum and Support- Designation enhances the shared vision and strategic focus for employees, creates a sense of accomplishment for everyone in the organization, increases community, board and physician knowledge and support, and generates momentum and support to address long-standing issues. Designation also provides the opportunity to benchmark an organization's progress with other like-minded organizations, and offers exposure to evidence-based, patient centered practices. Recognition as a leader in the field- Ultimately, Designation is a symbol of achievement. It is recognition that your organization is consistently practicing patient centered care across our eleven core dimensions and over 60 specific measures.

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