Shore Medical Center Awarded Designation as Patient-Centered Hospital

February 28, 2017

Planetree Organization Recognizes Hospital for Sustained Achievement and Innovation in Delivering Patient-Centered Care

Shore Medical Center in Somers Point, New Jersey has been formally re-designated by Planetree, Inc. as a “Planetree Designated® Person-Centered Hospital.”  This designation recognizes Shore Medical Center’s achievement and innovation in the delivery of person-centered care, defined as an approach to healthcare in which providers partner with patients and families to identify and satisfy the full range of patient needs and preferences.

In 2013, the hospital was among the first organizations nationwide to achieve the designation (which is awarded for a three year term).  This re-designation recognizes Shore Medical Center’s sustained excellence in person-centered care.  Today, Shore Medical Center is one of only 86 organizations worldwide to receive the Person-Centered Hospital Designation since the program’s launch in 2007.

"We are extremely proud of our team for their efforts to attain this re-designation and help Shore remain at the leading edge of person-centered care,” said Ron Johnson, President and CEO of Shore Medical Center.  “Planetree designation sets us apart from all other facilities in the state of New Jersey. It drives every interaction with our patients, and across all departments. I would especially like to thank Tami Kitchen, Administrative Director of Patient and Family Experience and Planetree Coordinator for Patient Centered Care, for her hard work coordinating the re-designation efforts,” Johnson said. 

“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., a not-for-profit organization that has been at the forefront of the movement to transform healthcare from the perspective of the patient for almost 40 years. “The designation signals to healthcare consumers that Shore Medical Center 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 healthcare professionals in hundreds of focus groups held across the country say matters most to them during a healthcare 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 healthcare 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 nine years, Shore Medical Center has implemented a substantial number of initiatives and practices designed to enhance both the patient and staff experience. 

To become a Planetree Designated® Person-Centered Hospital, Shore Medical Center had to demonstrate that it has successfully implemented programs that meet the spirit and intent of the designation criteria.  As part of the re-designation process — which included a site visit by representatives from Planetree — Shore Medical Center was asked to demonstrate that specific person-centered practices and policies have been sustained over time, including non-restrictive visiting hours and an open medical chart policy, widespread staff involvement in the implementation of person-centered care, and incorporation of the patient and family perspective in hospital planning efforts.  In addition, the site visit team validated 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.  “Hospitals in the U.S. awarded designation are held accountable for exceeding benchmarks for both quality and patient satisfaction.”

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

Founded in 1978 by a patient in San Francisco, today Planetree is an internationally recognized leader in the growing movement to transform the health care experience by considering health care facilities, processes and protocols from the perspective of the patient. In diverse healthcare settings throughout the United States, Canada, Latin America, the Middle East, Asia and Europe, Planetree is demonstrating that patient-centered care is not only an empowering philosophy, but a viable, vital, and cost-effective model of care. Today, the Planetree membership network is a global community of more than 700 acute care hospitals, continuing care facilities, outpatient clinics, and consumer health libraries.  The Planetree model is implemented in a variety of settings, ranging from 25-bed critical access hospitals to large urban medical centers with more than 2,000 beds.