Planetree International Awards Deer Lodge Medical Center its Highest Level of Achievement for Excellence in Person-Centered Care

Deer Lodge, Montana – Deer Lodge Medical Center has once again been awarded Gold Certification for Excellence in Person-Centered Care by Planetree International. This Person-Centered Care Certification® recognizes the organization’s achievement and innovation in the delivery of person-centered care. Deer Lodge Medical Center is one of only 97 healthcare organizations worldwide (and the only one in Montana) to earn this prestigious award!

Gold Certification for Excellence in Person-Centered Care represents the highest level of achievement in person-centered care, based on evidence and standards. Person-centered healthcare prioritizes the active participation of patients and their families throughout the healthcare process with an emphasis on partnership, compassion, transparency, inclusion, and quality.

“The Planetree Certification is the only award that recognizes excellence in person-centeredness across the continuum of care,” said Susan Frampton, President of Planetree International, a not-for-profit organization that has been at the forefront of the movement to transform healthcare from the perspective of patients for more than 40 years. “This Gold Certification signals to its patients and community that Deer Lodge Medical Center is an organization where staff partner with patients and families, and where patient and family comfort, dignity, empowerment and well-being are prioritized as key elements of providing top-quality clinical care.”

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Planetree International in providing Person-Centered Care. The Gold Certification directly reflects the dedication DLMC staff have to our patients and to providing the highest quality of healthcare possible.”, stated Andrew Dreesen, Deer Lodge Medical Center Chief Administrative Officer following announcement of the recognition.

Deer Lodge Medical Center Chief Nursing Officer, Andy Beck asserted “The Planetree model with its focus on person-centered care should be the standard of practice for all healthcare facilities.”

The criteria that Deer Lodge Medical Center satisfied to achieve Planetree Gold Certification reflect what patients, residents, family members and healthcare professionals in hundreds of focus groups say matters most to them during a healthcare experience. This qualitative data aligns with the growing evidence-base for person-centered care, and establishes the Person-Centered Care Certification Program as a concrete framework for defining and measuring excellence in person-centeredness.

The criteria address components of a person-centered healthcare experience, including the quality of patient-provider interactions, access to information, family involvement and the physical environment of care. Importantly, the criteria also focus on how the organization supports staff, opportunities for staff, patients, and families to have a voice in the way care is delivered, and the ways that Deer Lodge Medical Center is reaching beyond its walls to care for its community.

As part of the Certification process — which included a validation assessment by representatives from Planetree — discussion with Deer Lodge Medical Center patients, families and current staff validated that specific person-centered policies are in place, including non-restrictive visiting hours and a shared medical record policy; that staff members at all levels are involved in the implementation of person-centered care; and that the organization’s physical environment supports patient and family engagement in their care. The process also included a review of the organization’s performance on patient experience and quality of care measures, and how measurement of these indicators improves organizational outcomes.

For more information on Planetree’s Person-Centered Care Certification® Program, including the criteria, the application process and more, visit

About Deer Lodge Medical Center

Deer Lodge Medical Center is a non-profit 501c3 community hospital located in Deer Lodge, Montana. Managed by Cypress Healthcare, Deer Lodge Medical Center is a certified critical access hospital serving Powell County and the outlying communities. Deer Lodge Medical Center offers inpatient and outpatient care, 24-hour emergency care, physical therapy, general surgery, chiropractic care and a broad array of specialty services supported both through the hospital and clinic. The Deer Lodge Clinic offers a wide array of services that encompass specialists to help take care of your needs. We offer a variety of special programs, from Immunization Clinics to Diabetes and Coumadin monitors.

About Planetree International

Planetree International is a mission based not-for-profit organization that has partnered with over 700 healthcare organizations around the world and across the care continuum to transform how care is delivered. Powered by over 50,000 focus group attendees comprised of patients, families, and staff, and 40 years of experience working with healthcare organizations, the Planetree approach emphasizes the quality of human interactions that occur within healthcare settings, the importance of connecting healthcare personnel to the purpose and meaning of their work, and practical strategies for engaging patients and family members as true partners in care. These elements have been consolidated into the Person-Centered Care Certification® Program, which provides organizations with a structured process to guide culture change efforts that yield improvements in clinical and operational outcomes. Drawing on this experience, in 2017 Planetree partnered with the National Academy of Medicine to introduce an evidence-based Guiding Framework for Patient and Family Engaged Care.

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