Planetree Hospitals Achieve High Satisfaction, Performance Scores
by Deborah Borfitz
Since 1992, 170 acute care hospitals have undergone rigorous evaluation and orientation exercises to become affiliated with the Planetree network. Thirty-eight facilities have attained formal Planetree designation, available since 2008, which requires passionate and systemwide support of the Planetree care model and holds hospitals to measurable standards for high-quality, compassionate care. The Department of Veterans Affairs more recently began collaborating with Planetree to develop the VA’s own patient-centered care model for veterans at some 1,000 care sites nationwide, including more than 150 hospitals.
Although not a well-known consumer brand, Planetree is recognized by virtually all health care leaders, according to Danielle Swift, director of communications and public relations for the Derby, CT-based organization that is dedicated to humanizing health care. The Planetree moniker implies a commitment to be consumer-driven and patient-centered, in large part by seeing every employee as a caregiver and empowering each individual to solve problems in nonconventional ways.
Hospitals gravitate to Planetree for several reasons, says Bill Powanda, vice president at Derby, CT-based Griffin Hospital and at the corporate parent that also owns Planetree. “Early on, it was mostly altruism – rural hospitals that believed it was the right model of care,” Powanda says. Other hospitals wanted to use Planetree to differentiate themselves in a crowded market or to make it part of their branding strategy.