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Health care leaders tour Sharp Memorial

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Sharp Memorial Hospital was among the first stops for more than 120 national and international health care leaders during the 2012 Planetree Annual Conference recently.

Founded by a patient more than 30 years ago, Planetree has since developed the most comprehensive model of patient-/resident-centered care based upon thousands of focus groups with patients, families and staff. Building upon these core concepts, Planetree is a collaborative, global community of health care organizations, innovating new solutions in the best interest of patients as well as caregivers.

Many of the innovations were shared during the 2012 Planetree Annual Conference, Sept. 30 through Oct. 3, in Palm Desert.

Each year the Planetree Annual Conference brings together caregivers across the care continuum -- CEOs, physicians, long-term care specialists, academics, patient advocates, nurses, executives, Veterans Affairs administrators, and others -- committed to the implementation of patient- and resident-centered approaches that activate patients and families to engage in their care plans.

On the first day of the conference, Planetree affiliates participated in a site tour of Sharp Memorial Hospital to gain a first-hand experience of Planetree healing environments and programs. Among the patient-centered initiatives Sharp Memorial Hospital employs is an open medical record where patients can receive a daily summary of their care, a Care Partners program that includes families in care decisions, and integrative therapies such as healing touch, aromatherapy and Reiki at the bedside.

In addition to being a Planetree designated hospital, Sharp Memorial was recognized by the organization with the Evidence Based Program Award for its Emergency Department, and the Planetree Pet Therapy Award for Missy the Pet Therapy Dog. Sharp Memorial-affiliated physician Chris Ho, M.D., received the Planetree Physician Champion Award and Cindy Murphy, director of customer operations for Sharp Memorial Hospital, was named the Planetree Caregiver of the Year.

The conference also featured more than 100 workshops providing a forum to discuss practical strategies for implementing and fostering a culture that inspires and enables caregivers to transform the health care experience by engaging patients and families. Given the Affordable Care Act's focus on care coordination, transitions of care and reducing readmissions, the importance of person-centered approaches has been elevated to priority one.

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