Sharp Memorial Hospital Receives Formal Designation as a Patient-Centered Hospital

Second Hospital in California to Receive Designation

Sharp Memorial Hospital has been formally designated by Planetree, Inc., as a Planetree Designated Patient-Centered Hospital. This designation recognizes Sharp Memorial’s achievement and innovation in the delivery of patient-centered care. Sharp Memorial joins Sharp Coronado Hospital as the only other hospital in California and one of only 28 health care organizations worldwide to receive the Patient-Centered Designation since the program’s launch in 2007. This accolade also makes Sharp Memorial the only hospital in the world to have realized Planetree Designation concurrently with MAGNET® designation for nursing excellence and be part of a health care system that has received the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

“The Planetree Designation is the only award that recognizes excellence in person-centeredness across the continuum of care,” said Susan Frampton, president of Planetree, Inc., an international not-for-profit organization that has been at the forefront of the movement to transform health care from the perspective of the patient for more than 30 years. “The designation signals to health care consumers that Sharp Memorial is a hospital where providers partner with patients and families, and where patient comfort, dignity, empowerment and well being are prioritized with providing top-quality clinical care.”

The criteria that a hospital must satisfy to achieve designation reflect what patients, family members and health care professionals in hundreds of focus groups say matters most to them during a health care experience. This qualitative data aligns with the growing evidence base for patient-centered care, and establishes the Planetree Designation as a concrete framework for defining and measuring excellence in patient-centeredness.

More than 60 specific criteria address components of a patient-centered health care experience, including patient-provider interactions, access to information, family involvement, the physical environment, food and nutrition, spirituality, arts and entertainment and integrative therapies. In addition, the criteria focus on how the hospital is supporting its staff, opportunities for staff, patients and families to have a voice in the way care is delivered, and the ways that the hospital is reaching beyond its walls to care for its community.

Guided by these core components of a patient-centered culture, over the past two years Sharp Memorial has implemented a substantial number of initiatives and practices designed to enhance both the patient and staff experience. Among the initiatives Sharp Memorial Hospital adopted on its path to Planetree designation was creating an open medical record where patients can receive a daily summary of their care, conducting nursing shift change at the bedside, welcoming families as Care Partners who are included in care decisions and offering integrative therapies such as Healing Touch, aromatherapy and Reiki in patient rooms.

“At Sharp, we don’t just treat a patient’s ailments: We care for the person as a whole. Sharp Memorial receiving this Planetree distinction is further proof that we’re achieving our vision and making a difference in the lives of the people we touch,” said Tim Smith, senior vice president and CEO of Sharp Memorial Hospital. “We’re so proud of the work our staff, nurses, volunteers and affiliated physicians have done to make us the largest hospital in the world to achieve Planetree Designation.”

As part of the designation process — which included a site visit by representatives from Planetree — focus groups with recent Sharp Memorial patients and current staff validated that specific patient-centered policies are in place, that staff members at all levels are involved in the implementation of patient-centered care and that the hospital’s physical environment is a healing one engaging all of the human senses. The process also included a review of the hospital’s performance on publicly reported patient satisfaction and quality of care measures.

“A strength of the designation program has been the integration of qualitative and quantitative measures,” explained Frampton. “Acute care hospitals in the U.S. awarded designation are held accountable for exceeding quality benchmarks for both quality and patient satisfaction.”

All designation determinations are made by an independent committee of health care experts and CEOs from previously designated hospitals.   

Last Updated: February 3, 2012