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VA New Jersey Health Care System


VANJHCS Planetree Silver Recognition

Planetree Silver Recognition

VA New Jersey Health Care System Recognized by Planetree for Significant Advancement in Patient-Centered Care

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

East Orange, NJ - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) New Jersey Health Care System has been awarded Planetree Silver Recognition for Significant Advancement in Patient-Centered Care. The VA New Jersey Health Care System is the first health care organization in New Jersey and only the second VA site in the United States to be awarded Silver-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 on traditional quality indicators, review of policy documents and, most importantly, how patients and staff assess the organization's patient-centered culture. Silver Recognition was awarded to the VA New Jersey Health Care System following a series of focus groups with Veterans and their loved ones, as well as staff from a multitude of disciplines and divisions within the hospital. Considered collectively, these discussions with Veterans and staff attested to a genuine culture of patient-centered care.

"The experience of the VA New Jersey Health Care System 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 reorganize systems to put Veterans first," shared Susan Frampton, Planetree's President.

A Planetree affiliate since 2005, and a recipient of Bronze Recognition in 2013, the achievement of Silver Recognition by the VA New Jersey Health Care System 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 Veteran, family, and professional health care giver needs and preferences.

"Our employees and volunteers have proudly been at the forefront of our patient-centered care journey for our nation's Veterans. We acknowledge them in this special recognition from the Planetree organization," said Ken Mizrach, Director of the VA New Jersey Health Care System. "We began our patient-centered journey in 2005 and have made many positive changes in the way we deliver health care to our nation's Veterans. They deserve no less than the best in health care, and we are excited to be recognized by Planetree on their behalf."

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 Hospital 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 Silver Recognition for Significant Advancement 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 the VA New Jersey Health Care System builds on this achievement to take its commitment to delivering Veteran-centered care to even greater heights."

About VA New Jersey Health Care System
The VA New Jersey Health Care System is an integrated system consisting of two Veterans Health Administration facilities located in East Orange and Lyons, New Jersey. The Health Care System also has nine Community Based Outpatient Clinics located throughout the state. A teaching VA facility, the East Orange Campus provides a full range of patient care services, with state-of-the-art technology as well as education and research. The East Orange Campus is the site of one of three VA War Related Illness and Injury Study Centers looking at ways to care for active duty patients and Veterans with war-related illnesses. The Lyons Campus provides long-term care, a palliative care unit, and a variety of mental health services, from outpatient to residential, as well as primary and specialty outpatient clinics, services for homeless Veterans, and a Visual Impairment Services Outpatient Rehabilitation Low Vision Program.

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 19 countries, including the United States, Canada, Brazil, The Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark, Planetree is demonstrating that person-centered care is not only an empowering philosophy, but a viable, vital, and cost-effective model of care.


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