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Marcia Hall, CEO: The vision we had for Sharp Coronado Hospital was to blend the hospital experience with the larger island experience. It is on an island surrounded by beach and ocean. Why not have the hospital reflect its environment. So our vision became creating a setting that would be the most conducive setting for a person to heal that had an element of comfort and nature and hominess that is usually missing in a hospital. We decided we needed some sort of a subtle motif and because we’re set on an island there was logic in choosing a seashell and the seashell we chose was a nautilus. The nautilus is symbolic and it is symbolic of an ancient spatial proportioning system. It wasn’t until 1200 when a fellow by the name of Leonardo Fibonacci actually took that proportion that was so known and he ascribed a mathematical formula for it and that was the Fibonacci sequence. We created a symbol out of that. It is art and it is science.
We took The Sharp Experience and we added the Planetree philosophy to The Sharp Experience to really create something different and new for this hospital. When you walk into the hospital what you see are natural elements. Things like wood, things like sand, water. It is very different from any hospital that you would see. We have used bamboo, we have used stone. The walls are a pale sea green or a sand color. Instead of straight lines we have curved lines, there are no overhead fluorescent lights. We have indirect lighting. The ER was the first space that we decided to break up the straight lines. Even that is healing, even that is comforting.
There have to be ways to bring the outdoors in and we decided that we could do something with the garden spaces. We had volunteers from the community help us with the gardens and all of a sudden we found ourselves with a beautiful Japanese healing garden. Those gardens have created a way to bring the outdoors in. Volunteers play a critically important role in our Planetree experience at Sharp Coronado Hospital. Our auxiliary bought the artwork that we have in the hospital. Our volunteers bake cookies three or four days a week. Cookies make the hospital smell different and that is part of our goal. Make it smell different, make it sound different, make it look different. The staff has taken the Planetree concept on very, very personally.
Ishmael: Hello, how are you today?
Patient: Oh fine, thank you.
Ishmael: My name is Ishmael. I am with housekeeping. I am the housekeeping host and what I do every morning and afternoon I come and greet my patients, see how they are doing and also offer them a little warm washcloth.
Patient: Oh, that’s nice.
Ishmael: For your hands and your face. Just to warm up. People just respond to that. Something different. Something to get their mind off of what’s coming up.
Mary: My name is Mary Margaret Omohundro. I am one of the nurses here. I work in outpatient surgery and I just wanted to tell you a little about what we do as far as Planetree here at Sharp Coronado. A very important part of our job is updating patients and in order to help pass the time while patients are here we have a few things that we do offer them that they can do themselves and with their families. Well I always gather shells and I just happen to notice that they look at that like angel wings and I thought wouldn’t that be nice just to bring them in when you just rub it it gets a nice patina on it and it is very soothing.
We have actually won awards at Sharp Coronado Hospital for our unique ability to bring complementary therapies out of the outpatient setting and into the inpatient setting. Simply using clinical aromatherapy, healing touch and comfort massage. The uniqueness is to use those forms of complementary therapies on inpatients and patients definitely benefit from the human touch.
Karen: My name is Karen Moran, I am the manager of the unit here and I understand you want to see and look at your chart and look at some of your results.
If a patient wants to look at their medical record we bring it in, we sit with them and we go through it and answer all their questions and there is even a page if they want to make their own notes. We also use the patient’s medical record as a teaching tool to humanize, personalize and definitely demystify the experience.
Lydia: Hello Ms. Harb, I am Lydia Roper, I work here at Sharp Coronado Hospital and I wanted to talk to your about our care partner program. I see your daughter is here.
When you think about what patients need or what patients want to enhance their ability to heal. What they want is their family member near them. One of the elements of Planetree is the care partners program. The care partners program is an opportunity for a patient to identify a husband or a wife, a child or a parent or even a close friend who will be their care partner. That person is included with everything that goes on with that patient. It makes the patient and the family member or friend much more comfortable with what’s going on with that patient, much more knowledgeable and that has value, not just while the patient is in the hospital but when that person goes home.
Marcia: Every once in a while you will see a dog walking through the halls of Sharp Coronado Hospital and it is Traveler. Traveler is a bearded collie and he belongs to Susan Easley, one of our volunteers. Susan brings Traveler and Traveler brings happiness to pretty much every patient that he lays a paw on. We love Traveler, he is part of the family.
Philanthropy is a very important part of our hospital. It is a life-giving aspect of our hospital. Our community members are involved with the hospital in every conceivable way in an effort to renovate it, to keep the technology up to speed and we are extremely fortunate to have that sort of support. I would want people to remember that you can change the hospital experience. I have been in health care for, oh gosh, 36 years, I have been in hospitals for 36 years and who would have thought that at this stage of the game I would be having so much fun and have such satisfaction at being honored enough to lead a team that cares so much about changing the way hospitals are perceived by their patients.
Everything you see, everything you experience at Sharp Coronado Hospital can be defined by asking three simple questions: Have we helped you live your life with dignity and optimal health? Have we helped you heal to the highest degree of functioning possible and have we helped you grow in all the ways that have meaning for you, no matter who you may be?