Deer Lodge Medical Center Recognized by Planetree for Meaningful Progress in Patient-Centered Care

Deer Lodge, Montana – Deer Lodge Medical Center has been awarded Planetree Bronze Recognition for Meaningful Progress in Patient-Centered Care. Deer Lodge Medical Center is the first health care organization in Montana and the 18th in the world to be awarded Bronze-level recognition since Planetree first introduced the recognition level in 2012.

What distinguishes Planetree Recognition among other health care quality awards is its distinctive focus on patient-centered care, defined as a model of care delivery in which health care professionals partner with patients and families to identify and satisfy the full range of patient needs and preferences. The award is conferred based on a variety of factors, including performance improvement on traditional quality indicators, review of policy documents and, most importantly, how patients and staff assess the organization’s patient-centered culture. Bronze Recognition was awarded to Deer Lodge Medical Center following a series of focus groups with patients and their loved ones, as well as staff from a multitude of disciplines and divisions within the organization. Considered collectively, these discussions with patients and staff attested to a genuine culture of patient-centered care.

“The experience of Deer Lodge Medical Center shows what can be accomplished when a team of deeply committed, supremely innovative and highly-driven caregivers take the courageous leap to re-define priorities and re-organize systems to put patients first,” shared Susan Frampton, Planetree’s President.

As a Planetree affiliate, the achievement of Bronze Recognition by Deer Lodge Medical Center is a significant milestone in the organization’s culture change journey, evidencing that effective policies, practices, tools, and systems are in place to meet a broad range of patient, family, and professional health care giver needs and preferences.

The program is an extension of Planetree’s established Patient-Centered Hospital Designation Program, the only program to recognize excellence in patient-centered care across the continuum of care and around the world. Health care organizations awarded Patient-Centered Designation undergo a rigorous process to demonstrate comprehensive implementation and maintenance of patient-centered care, as captured in more than 50 specific criteria.

The criteria include a shared medical record policy, nonrestrictive visiting practices, opportunities for patient and family input into health center operations, healthy and flexible meal options, recognition of the role of spirituality and the arts in healing, and a physical environment that facilitates privacy, promotes open communication between patients and providers, and is accommodating of family members’ involvement in their loved one’s care. Recognizing that ultimately the patient experience originates with those providing care, several criteria focus on nurturing a work environment that is supportive of staff.

In 2012, Planetree introduced two intermediate recognition tiers—Bronze Recognition for Meaningful Progress in Patient-Centered Care and Silver Recognition for Significant Advancement in Patient-Centered Care, each designed to celebrate organizations that have fulfilled a significant portion of the designation criteria.

“Planetree awards Bronze Recognition for Meaningful Progress in Patient-Centered Care to celebrate organizations’ progress along the culture change journey,” said Frampton. “In this spirit, we look forward to witnessing how the team at Deer Lodge Medical Center builds on this achievement to take its commitment to delivering patient-centered care to even greater heights.”

About Planetree:
Founded in 1978 by a San Francisco patient who endured a traumatic healthcare experience, Planetree is an international, not-for-profit organization that partners with health care organizations across the continuum of care to personalize, humanize, and demystify the healthcare experience by putting the needs of individuals first. To achieve this aim, Planetree guides organizations through a structured process that enables and inspires caregivers to transform the health care experience they provide. With its model of person-centered care being implemented in a diverse range of hospitals, continuing care facilities, outpatient clinics, and consumer health libraries across the United States, Canada, South America, Europe, and Asia, Planetree is demonstrating that person-centered care is not only an empowering philosophy, but a viable, vital, and cost-effective model of care.