Bayhealth Medical Center: Providing Equality in Healthcare to Our Patients

Bayhealth Medical Center: Providing Equality in Healthcare to Our Patients
By Jennifer Dailey, Marketing Specialist

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Bayhealth staff recently held a LGBT conference on eldercase issues. The staff members (pictured here) who helped organize the conference were also part of a task force that helped Bayhealth earn a spot on the 2016 Healthcare Equality Index.

Bayhealth Medical Center strives to improve the health status of all members of our community. Located in central Delaware, Bayhealth leadership and staff steadily work to distinguish their facilities as a regional health system that consistently delivers an exceptional patient experience. The organization’s recent recognition as a “Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality” by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation aligns perfectly with Bayhealth’s organization and mission.

HRC is the educational arm of the country’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization. The findings were part of HRC Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index 2016, a unique annual survey that encourages equal care for LGBT Americans by evaluating inclusive policies and practices related to LGBT patients, visitors and employees.

Bayhealth, a 2015 honoree of Planetree’s Bronze Recognition, earned top marks in meeting non-discrimination and training criteria that demonstrates its commitment to equitable, inclusive care for LGBT patients and their families, who can face significant challenges in securing the quality healthcare and respect they deserve. Continue reading “Bayhealth Medical Center: Providing Equality in Healthcare to Our Patients”

Developing a Psychiatry Care Partner Program

Developing a Psychiatry Care Partner Program
By Kathleen Friedman, LCSW-R, CSC; Director, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Clinic; Michelle Gabriele, LCSW-R, Social Work Supervisor, Geriatric Clinic; Barbara Waltman, LCSW-R; Director of Social Work
New York-Presbyterian Hospital/ Westchester Division

Care Partner Programs are widely recognized by Planetree and its medical hospital affiliates as the gold standard for involving patients’ families and loved ones in their care, creating a truly patient and family centered experience. When developing a Care Partner Program for psychiatry, the Family Engagement Committee at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division, examined how families are currently involved during the hospitalization and explored how we can adapt the traditional Care Partner Program to benefit our families, patients and Hospital. In particular, we looked at what would make a Care Partner Program in psychiatry different, helpful, and also deliver improved outcomes.

Empowering Families and Caregivers

The emotional and physical toll of being a caregiver to a person with mental illness can be strenuous. Psychiatric disorders are often chronic illnesses, with repeated episodes of dysfunction. This can have a ripple effect on those family members who provide emotional support and encouragement on a daily basis to loved ones who may lack insight into the need for treatment and services. Families may be confronted with episodes of emotional instability, intense anger and rejection directed at them. The rate of burn-out in these families is disproportionately high. We recognized that a primary goal of our psychiatric Care Partner Program needed to be empowering families and caregivers by offering concrete skills, education and encouragement to cope with the impact of psychiatric illness on the family. We also anticipated that by increasing the family’s knowledge, we would be able to help them cope with the stigma that unfortunately continues to be associated with mental illness and that brings additional challenges to caregiving for a person with a mental illness. Continue reading “Developing a Psychiatry Care Partner Program”

Connecticut Planetree Hospitals Leading the State in Quality and Safety

Connecticut Planetree Hospitals Leading the State in Quality and Safety

The only two Planetree Designated Patient-Centered Hospitals in the state of Connecticut – Griffin Hospital in Derby, CT and Stamford Hospital in Stamford, CT – have both recently been recognized by two national healthcare organizations for continued excellence in quality and safety.  They are the only two Connecticut hospitals to receive this dual recognition this Fall 2015.

Leapfrog & Joint CommissionBoth Griffin Hospital and Stamford Hospital were named a 2014 “Top Performer on Key Quality Measures®” this month by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of healthcare organizations in America.  The two hospitals were also each honored with an “A” grade in the Fall 2015 update to the Hospital Safety Score by The Leapfrog Group, an independent hospital safety rating organization whose Hospital Safety Score is the gold standard rating for patient safety.

These achievements by two leaders in patient-centered care further asserts that the foundation for patient-centered excellence is first and foremost safe, high quality care.

Arts Medicine for Veterans: Exploring Creative Strategies for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Arts Medicine for Veterans: Exploring Creative Strategies for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
By Mary C. Rorro, D.O., VA New Jersey Healthcare System

Can the arts transform the treatment experience of war veterans?  I believe the answer is a resounding yes! As a psychiatrist and professional musician, I blend music and poetry into my practice in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) New Jersey Health Care System (HCS). I treat veterans spanning from World War II to Iraq and Afghanistan who have Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  In addition to prescribing medication, I employ the healing arts to improve patients’ lives. I play viola for patients during the year in group therapy, individual sessions and in VA hospital units, and have witnessed the powerful therapeutic effects music and poetry have for them as a complement to care.

The Power of Music: The “A Few Good Notes” Program

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Dr. Rorro was invited to play solo viola at the World War II Memorial in Washington DC for Memorial Day

Sharing music is a simple yet profound way to connect with veterans. The veterans frequently request melodies to be played again in their group and say how much the music means to them, throughout the year. Blending music in my practice as a physician is a privilege and brings fulfillment to me and has meaning for patients. Music can be utilized as a vital tool to aide veterans suffering from PTSD and mental illness.  Therapeutic encounters with music appear to help veterans with certain symptoms, such as insomnia, anxiety, and depression. It fosters relaxation, group cohesiveness and rapport with fellow patients and employee participants.

I created the program “A Few Good Notes” in the VA New Jersey HCS to harness this power of music as a model for expressing grief, loss and joy, as well as a means for coping with anxiety, irritability and insomnia.  The program’s mission is to bring these benefits of music to more veterans through veteran and employee participation. Continue reading “Arts Medicine for Veterans: Exploring Creative Strategies for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder”

Resident Behavior Mapping at Carlton Manor: Sharing our Success

Resident Behavior Mapping at Carlton Manor: Sharing our Success
By Cheyanne Wyers-Culbert, BN, RN, MN, Director of Nursing, Carleton Manor

Carlton-Manor-webResident Behavior Mapping is our community’s approach to managing aggressive or challenging behaviors. These behaviors may include physical and verbal aggression, agitation, repetitive vocalizations, wandering, etc. Our philosophy is that these behaviors are a sign of an unmet need or an area for improvement in their care.  Taking a person centered approach is crucial to understanding this need and finding an effective solution. We examine or “map” their behavior over a period of time, consulting all stakeholders and reviewing the holistic needs of the resident, and ultimately, we are able to create an individualized care plan for them.

Behavior Mapping

To capture a comprehensive overview, we begin with completing a three day review of the neighbor’s day to day life including all forms of behavior. We use a Behavior Tracking Tool that was designed to track behavior on an hourly basis. This tool can be customized to meet the unique needs of the resident and/or facility. The key is to highlight high alert behaviors, escalating behaviors and calm states. Lethargic or sleeping states should also be tracked as they provide clues as well.

Also tracked on this tool are triggers and solutions for effective care planning (effective and non-effective interventions). This allows staff to utilize strategies from each other and gain experience.  It should be noted that some strategies that are effective earlier in the day may not be effective as the day progresses and behavior escalates. However, it is imperative to have a variety of strategies to manage behavior and use them accordingly. Continue reading “Resident Behavior Mapping at Carlton Manor: Sharing our Success”

Planetree Around the Globe

Planetree Around the Globe
By Karin Jay, Planetree Senior Director of International Business and Operations

Planetree currently has member sites in 17 different countries, and we expect that this number will continue to grow.  Working with staff from our international sites has been a tremendously rewarding experience.  We have seen demonstrated time and time again, a universal truth that holds true in every country:

We all want to be treated in the same manner, with kindness, compassion, honesty and sincerity.

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KPJ, Malaysia, encouraging employee wellness efforts

Of course this desire is the foundation of the Planetree model, and innovative approaches to supporting this model have been implemented around the world.  For example, we have seen great use of technology in Malaysia by our sites that are a part of the KPJ system, to allow for real time communication with different staff communities to allow for quick resolution to any issues, by the use of What’s App chat groups.  KPJ has also increased their focus on employee wellness, adding more space for fitness, and supporting fun-filled sports competitions for employees.

In Brazil at Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, we see tremendous commitment to the greater community, by providing health education, access, resources and employment opportunities to underprivileged citizens of near-by communities.

In Turkey, Planetree’s innovative nursing course is going mobile, and Planetree’s nurse educator, Cathy Desautels, RN, MPH will be onsite in September, at Anadolu Medical Center teaching the nursing staff there. Continue reading “Planetree Around the Globe”

Engaging Physicians in Patient-Centered Care: The KPJ Ampang Experience

Engaging Physicians in Patient-Centered Care: The KPJ Ampang Experience
By Dr T Devarajan Theyventheran, Medical Officer In-Charge, Patient Safety Officer, KPJ Ampang Malaysia

KPJ Ampang Hospital is a private hospital in Kuala Lumpur which opened in 1995.  Employees of this hospital in reality have two types of customers:

  • External customers, i.e. patients and guests seeking treatment
  • Internal customers, i.e. physician consultants.

These consultants play a major role in the hospital.  They are instrumental in providing a safe practice, ensuring patients’ welfare and promoting a patient and staff centered environment.

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At KPJ Ampang Puteri Specialist Hospital, these consultants are governed by the Board of Directors which includes representation by the Medical Director, Deputy Medical Director and one independent consultant.  The organization established its Medical Advisory Committee led by the Medical Director and many other clinical committees in order to ensure that the clinical governance is in place.  As a result, even though the consultants are independent personnel attached to the hospital, most of them have a strong sense of connection to the organization.  Consultants are supportive of and participate in all major projects initiated by the hospital. Continue reading “Engaging Physicians in Patient-Centered Care: The KPJ Ampang Experience”

Integrating Positive Psychology Concepts into Rehabilitation Practices at Centre de réadaptation Estrie

Integrating Positive Psychology Concepts into Rehabilitation Practices at Centre de réadaptation Estrie
By Marie-Claude Poulin, Planetree Coordinator

Consistent with the Planetree philosophy, Planetree Designated Hospital Centre de réadaptation Estrie has been exploring, since 2006, ways to integrate the spiritual dimension into the process of rehabilitation. Our early research and practices led us to pay particular attention to “the meaning of life” dimension for our users/patients. From this was born a tool called “Ariane’s Thread” to help bring to light the meaning users/patients give to their life. The use of this tool taught us that after a traumatic event or as a disease progresses, some of our patients had redefined their values. Their perception of the world and life priorities had changed, as well as their relationships with others. Some had developed new interests such as a desire to help others. It seemed to bring positive effects from adversity, a resilience that went beyond their suffering. This observation led us to consider the following question: is it possible to sustain, or even intentionally develop such resilience in the context of physical rehabilitation, as scientific literature in other domains has demonstrated? CRE Image 1

As of 2010, our research on this central pillar of resilience for well-being led us to recent work in positive psychology. Hailed by its principal founders as the science of strength and resilience, positive psychology is devoted to the scientific study of factors that make life worth living for ordinary people, as well as for those with adaptation disorders or mental health problems. In support of resilience, positive psychology seemed to offer an interesting framework for clinicians working in a rehabilitation environment. We opted for the PERMA Model (Positive emotions, Engagement, positive Relationships, Meaning, Accomplishment) developed by Seligman, principal founder of positive psychology. We developed the hypothesis that by taking the five factors from this model into account in patient interventions, we would be able to maximize both mental and physical recuperation and prevent adaptation problems by promoting positive social reintegration. Continue reading “Integrating Positive Psychology Concepts into Rehabilitation Practices at Centre de réadaptation Estrie”

2015 Planetree Netherlands Conference Draws 600 Attendees, Emphasizes Building Trust

2015 Planetree Netherlands Conference Draws 600 Attendees, Emphasizes Building Trust
By Marita Bossers-Nabben, CEO of Planetree Netherlands

_MG_7953On Thursday, March 12 the annual Dutch Planetree Conference was held at NBC Nieuwegein. This one day event was attended by 600 visitors. The theme of the conference was “Faith.”

_MG_8088-v2This theme was emphasized by Planetree Netherlands CEO Marita Bossers-Nabben when she expressed, “Faith is something we need in three different ways.  First of all we are in need of more trustworthy politics. In order to implement all changes made effective within the care system this past year, care organizations can use some time off, a break to do so properly.  Secondly, health care organizations have to lay their trust in staff and personnel.  And finally, we find that the most important outcome is that patients have trust in the care they receive.”

Building a Trustworthy Organization

“Faith, or trust is something that needs to be built within the organization,” thus began the keynote remarks from Jim van den Beuken, founder and President of the Board at Planetree Netherlands.  “If you put your trust in colleagues, you will find that work goes faster and will be more profitable in the end. On the contrary, distrust leads towards poor investments in time and money.” Faith has to be aspired to on three fronts; in one’s life, in care and within the organization/system. “A trustworthy organization can be established through quality improvement. Involvement of family and environment is crucial.”

Susan Frampton, President of Planetree International, expanded on the theme, making the case for supporting patient and family engagement at three levels — individual health, health services and policy. In order to achieve maximum engagement, a culture has to emerge providing plenty of room for good relationships between caregivers and patients/family. “Fundamental values for such a culture are: engagement on staff education and training, organizational values that support honesty, pride, mutual respect and fellowship, genuine and regular communication with staff, and recognizing and honoring desired behavior.” Continue reading “2015 Planetree Netherlands Conference Draws 600 Attendees, Emphasizes Building Trust”

HRHCare: Partnering with Patients on Quality Improvement

HRHCare: Partnering with Patients on Quality Improvement
By Katherine Brieger, RD, Executive Director, HRHCare Planetree Institute

Hudson River HealthCare is a network of Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC), now over 30 sites located in ten counties of New York State.  HRHCare has valued input by patients since its founding in 1975.   We continue to honor the voice of our patients in almost every sector of our system.   Their input and involvement has helped to promote a system recognized for a high quality of care as well as one that reflects the needs of the communities we serve.IMG_9477 MHA June 2014 Group Photo

HRHCare Present and Past

Our mission is to increase access to comprehensive primary and preventative health care and to improve the health status of our community, especially for the underserved and vulnerable.   This mission was foundational, beginning with our founding mothers in the Peekskill community, almost forty years ago and remains central to the culture of HRHCare.

HRHCare has been at the forefront of quality initiatives for much of its history, including work with Planetree, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and HRSA (Health Resources Services Administration).  HRHCare is the only FQHC which is a Planetree affiliate.  We were also certified as one of the first FQHCs to become a Patient Centered Medical Home with NCQA and have continued with this certification.   Since 1998, we have been Joint Commission accredited.  In 2010, HRHCare received the Davis Award from HIMSS.   Thirteen centers were recognized by NCQA as DRP.

Patient engagement and involvement with HRHCare has focused on several key areas.  Key to this focus has been our board of directors (BOD).  By federal law, our BODs must be 51% users of the health center services.  This allows HRHCare to hear directly from our patients how their experience was. Other ways we engage our patients are:  quality improvement processes, self-management support and outreach programs and in focus groups. Continue reading “HRHCare: Partnering with Patients on Quality Improvement”