Health Care Organizations Focus on Improving Patient Communication During 4th Annual Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month in October

Oct 01, 2010, 11:23 ET from Planetree

Planetree offers free resources with practical approaches to patient-centered care

DERBY, Conn., Oct. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month began four years ago in an effort to heighten awareness of patient-centered care. Now with the passage of sweeping health care reform and CMS publicly reporting hospitals' performance on patient experience via HCAHPS, the term "patient-centered" is firmly planted in the health care lexicon. The term patient-centered was coined by Planetree more than 30 years ago to describe health care delivery around the needs of the patient; partnering with patients and families, encouraging involvement and personalizing care.

Although the meaning of the words may be interpreted beyond the conventional definition of patient centeredness, Planetree and other like-minded organizations will commemorate Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month as part of its ongoing effort to focus on its true meaning and lead the industry as it moves from defining to "doing." The month-long event also gives organizations an opportunity to showcase their patient-centered initiatives.

Planetree offers a variety of resources focused on how to operationalize patient and resident-centered approaches to care delivery. The Web site,, features a Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month electronic toolkit that may be downloaded for free. This year the month's theme is "Transformation through Communication," and resources are available in the toolkit outlining practical strategies to improve patient and family communication.  Planetree also offers a free Patient-Centered Care Improvement Guide available at

"Effective communication is at the core of providing patient-centered care. During Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month, we challenge professional caregivers to encourage dialogue with patients and families and to humanize and personalize even the most routine interactions. Doing so not only enhances the patient experience but ultimately the quality of care," said Planetree President Susan B. Frampton, Ph.D.

Several activities are planned to increase awareness about patient-centered approaches to care:

  • The 2010 Planetree Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado, October 5th-8th.
  • Four new Planetree Designated© sites will also be honored during the Spirit of Planetree ceremony. The designation program provides a practical, operational framework for evaluating the organizational systems and processes necessary to sustain a patient-/resident-centered culture.
  • The Long-Term Care Leadership Summit, in Denver, Colorado, October 5th.

Several organizations, including Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Picker Institute, Institute for Family and Patient-Centered Care and the Society for Healthcare Consumer Advocacy are participating in order to increase awareness about their initiatives focusing on patient experience and to encourage their members and other organizations to do the same.

About Planetree:

The Planetree membership network is a global community of acute care hospitals, continuing care facilities, and outpatient clinics, each at various phases of the journey to transform their health care by considering every aspect of the health care experience from the perspective of their patients, and reconnecting staff to their passion for caring for others. A complete list of Planetree hospitals is available at

SOURCE Planetree