VA New Jersey Health Care System
VANJHCS PLANETREE RECOGNITION
VA New Jersey Health Care System’s East Orange Campus has been awarded Planetree Bronze Recognition for Meaningful Progress in Patient-Centered Care. The VA New Jersey Health Care System is the first health care organization to be awarded Bronze-level recognition since Planetree first introduced the recognition level last year. It is also the first VA Medical Center nationwide to achieve recognition for its patient-centeredness, further establishing itself as a national leader in delivering Veteran-centered care.
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. Bronze Recognition was awarded to VA New Jersey Health Care System’s East Orange Campus 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 medical center. Considered collectively, these discussions with Veterans and staff attested to a genuine culture of patient-centered care.
“The experience of VA New Jersey’s East Orange Campus goes to show what can be accomplished when a team of deeply committed, supremely innovative and highly-driven caregivers take the courageous leap to redefine priorities and reorganize systems to put patients, or in this case Veterans, first,” shared Susan Frampton, Planetree’s President. “This medical center is a model for patient-centered care in progress for large, integrated health care systems nationwide.”
A member of the Planetree Membership Network since 2005, the achievement of Bronze Recognition by the East Orange Campus of VA New Jersey 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.
“We were delighted to hear the news that ours is the first health care organization to be awarded Bronze-level recognition,” 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 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 VA New Jersey’s East Orange campus builds on this achievement to take its commitment to delivering patient-centered care to even greater heights.”
About VA New Jersey Health Care System:
The VA New Jersey Health Care System in an integrated system consisting of two VA facilities located in East Orange and Lyons, New Jersey. The Lyons Campus opened in 1930, and the East Orange Campus opened in 1952. The VA New Jersey Health Care System has nine Community Based Outpatient Clinics located throughout the state in Brick, Elizabeth, Hackensack, Hamilton, Jersey City, Morristown, Paterson, Piscataway, and Tinton Falls. The East Orange Campus is the site of one of three VA War Related Illness and Injury Study Research Centers looking at ways to care for active duty patients and Veterans with war-related illnesses. In Fiscal Year 2012, approximately 60,000 Veterans received health care services at the VA New Jersey Health Care System.
Founded in 1978 by a San Francisco patient who endured a traumatic health care 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 health care 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 patient-/resident-centered care being implemented in a diverse range of hospitals, continuing care facilities, outpatient clinics, and consumer health libraries across the United States, Canada, Brazil, The Netherlands and Denmark, Planetree is demonstrating that patient-/resident-centered care is not only an empowering philosophy, but a viable, vital, and cost-effective model of care.