Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital to Celebrate Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month

Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital will join hospitals and healthcare organizations around the world in commemorating Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month this October. Planning is underway for an array of activities designed to empower patients, strengthen the hospital’s patient-centered practices, and publicly proclaim its commitment to patient-centered care. In addition, recognizing statewide efforts to foster a more patient-centered healthcare system, Governor Jennifer M. Granholm is expected to sign a proclamation commemorating October 2008 as Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month in Michigan and acknowledging Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital’s commitment to practicing patient-centered care.

Now in its second year, Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month is an awareness-building campaign to commemorate progress toward making patient-centered care a reality and building momentum for further advancing and expanding the practice of patient-centered care, an approach to healthcare in which health-care-givers partner with patients and families to satisfy the full range of patient needs.

“We certainly hope that when patients and their loved ones come to Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital, they feel safe, secure and well cared for,” said President Tom Kaufman. “But we consider these the minimum expectations for care. As a hospital committed to providing patient-centered care, we want patients who come to Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital to expect more. We want them to expect to be treated as partners in their own care. We want them to expect ample information about their treatment in language they can understand. And we want them to expect that when they go home, they will feel prepared to confidently manage their healthcare needs. This Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month campaign is an opportunity for us to reinforce to our patients and their families what they can anticipate from us as a patient-centered hospital.”

Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital has been actively engaged in implementing the Planetree model of patient-centered care for the past three years, focusing on service excellence and providing meaningful opportunities for patients and families to be actively involved in their care.  As part of Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month, Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital will display an official declaration of its commitment to the values that define patient-centered care, among them:

  • “A patient is an individual to be cared for, not just a medical condition to be treated.”
  • “Each staff member is a caregiver, whose role is to meet the needs of each patient.”
  • “Our patients’ family and friends are also partners and we welcome their involvement.”
  • “It is our responsibility to maximize patients’ opportunities for choices and to respect those choices.”
  • “Our patients are our partners and have knowledge and expertise that is essential to their care.”

This essential role that patients play in ensuring they receive optimal care will be emphasized by the distribution of stickers to patients that assert “I am an expert about me” and stickers for staff that read “I am listening.”  These stickers will be made available to patients and staff during Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month.

Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month is sponsored and coordinated by Planetree, Inc., a not-for-profit organization based in Derby, Connecticut that partners with healthcare organizations around the world to advance patient-centered approaches to care.  Consistent with the dual objective of Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month to both celebrate progress made and expand the practice of patient-centered care, in October Planetree will release a Patient-Centered Care Improvement Guide as a complimentary resource for any healthcare organization striving to be more patient-centered. The development of the guide was funded by the Picker Institute, an international non-profit organization that supports research in the field of patient-centered care. In addition, the Picker Institute is funding a day-long Patient-Centered Care CEO Summit on October 23, 2008 in Chicago that will focus on strategies for comprehensively transforming the patient and staff experience. The Patient-Centered Care Improvement Guide will be released at the CEO Summit, after which it will be made widely available on-line.

“In an industry where business as usual is often based more on tasks and system needs rather than patient comfort, reorienting daily routines and standard processes to a more patient-centered approach can challenge long-held conventions,” said Susan Frampton, President of Planetree. “To foster sustainable organizational culture change requires persistence, perseverance, commitment and vision. During Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month, we applaud organizations like Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital that have embarked on this journey to transform the way patients and families experience healthcare.”

Beyond recognizing institutions committed to practicing patient-centered care, the month also includes the recognition of individual healthcare professionals being honored for their personal embodiment of the values of patient-centered care. The Spirit of Planetree Awards will be presented at the 2008 Planetree Annual Conference to be held October 19-22 in Chicago, Illinois. Award nominees include Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital’s Health Communities and Healthy Lifestyles teams, nominated for their collaborative effort to develop the first annual Community TrailMixer, an exercise-focused held on the Pere Marquette Trail, which was highly successful and embraced by the communities of Reed City, Evart, and Hersey, MI.

About Spectrum Health-Reed City Hospital

Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital provides high quality, patient-centered health care services for the residents of Osceola, Lake and Mecosta counties. Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital has been part of the Spectrum Health system since 1998. Local access to quality care gives the people a link to the resources of Spectrum Health, one of the nation’s top integrated delivery systems-ranked 13th in 2004.

About Planetree

Founded in 1978 by a San Francisco patient who endured a traumatic hospitalization, Planetree has been at the forefront of the effort to personalize, humanize and demystify the healthcare system for three decades. Today, the Planetree Membership Network is a global community of more than 140 acute care hospitals, continuing care facilities, and outpatient clinics, each at various phases of the journey to transform the healthcare by considering every aspect of the healthcare experience from the perspective of their patients, and reconnecting staff to their passion for caring for others. A complete list of Planetree hospitals is available at