Planetree Inc. is a consumer healthcare organization dedicated to humanizing health care. Hippocrates, the founder of modern medicine, sat under a sycamore tree when he began teaching his medical students many centuries ago. The sycamore tree is also known as a Planetree.
In 2002, Good Samaritan Hospital became affiliated with Planetree Inc., which offers an innovative model of healthcare that puts patients' needs first. Good Samaritan Hospital joined the Planetree network of hundreds of hospitals in the United States, Canada, South America, Japan and the Netherlands. Every aspect of care at Good Samaritan Hospital is shaped by Planetree principles—from our welcoming, comfortable interiors to our emphasis on patient and family education and involvement, to our exceptional healthcare. As a result, Good Samaritan Hospital receives consistently high patient satisfaction scores. The components of the Planetree model are designed to empower patients, to foster their independence, to honor their humanity, and to enhance the healing environment at a time when they often feel vulnerable and anxious
The primary focus of Planetree is to deliver healthcare in a manner that works best for patients. In a patient-centered approach to healthcare, providers partner with patients and their family members to identify and satisfy the full range of patient needs and preferences. Patient-centered care is the core of a high-quality health care system and a necessary foundation for safe, effective, efficient, timely and equitable care.
The Planetree Philosophy
- that we are human beings, caring for other human beings.
- we are all caregivers.
- care giving is best achieved through kindness and compassion.
- safe, accessible, high quality care is fundamental to patient-centered care.
- in a holistic approach to meeting people's needs of body, mind and spirit families, friends and loved ones are vital to the healing process.
- access to understandable health information can empower individuals to participate in their health care.
- the opportunity for individuals to make personal choices related to their care is essential.
- physical environments can enhance healing, health and wellbeing.
- illness can be a transformational experience for patients, families and caregivers.?
- Human Interaction: Human beings caring for other human beings, creating a healing environment for patients, families, and staff members.
- Family, Friends, & Social Support contributes to the quality of the hospital experience by promoting caring connections between the patients and their support systems.
- Information & Education: Patients, families, and community members are provided with increased access to meaningful information.
- Nutritional & Nurturing Aspects of Food: Choice and personalized service, in combination with sound nutrition practices, add pleasure, comfort, and familiarity.
- Architecture & Interior Design: The Planetree design considers the patients’ wellbeing. The hospital is welcoming and accessible, providing clearly marked signs for direction, comfortable and familiar rooms, and designs that engage the senses and break down barriers.
- Arts & Entertainment: Music, artwork and clowns offer engagement and enjoyment to enhance the clinical environment.
- Spirituality: Planetree recognizes the vital role of spirituality in healing the whole person. From our chaplains to meditation, hospitals can provide opportunities for reflection and support of spiritual needs.
- Human Touch: Touch reduces anxiety, pain, and stress, benefiting patients, families, and staff members.
- Complementary Therapies expand the choices offered to patients. Aromatherapy, pet therapy visitation and massage are offered in addition to clinical modalities of care.
- Healthy Communities expand the boundaries of health care. Working with schools, senior centers, churches, and other community partners, organizations are redefining healthcare to include the health and wellness of the larger community.
Good Samaritan Hospital incorporates the core components of Planetree through the following programs and services:
Arts and Entertainment
Good Samaritan Hospital’s Arts and Entertainment program provides nutrition for the soul using arts (which are not limited to, but include music and nature). The sounds of pianists, guitarists, harpists and other musicians can be heard in the lobbies of the hospital. Story tellers, computer access and free movies also help create an atmosphere of serenity that promotes healing.
Caring for the Caregiver
Realizing that recognition is important to foster a collaborative work environment, Caring for the Caregiver is an organizational philosophy that is committed to promoting respectful communications, positive reinforcement and acknowledgement needed to facilitate the care of the caregiver. Maintaining a positive work environment, adequate recognition practices to reward employees for a job well done and opportunities for staff betterment—whether through wellness programs, educational programs or opportunities to decompress from stressful moments—are commonplace at Good Samaritan Hospital.
Planetree has influenced design features at Good Samaritan Hospital in consideration of the patient’s well-being. The hospital is welcoming and accessible, providing an optimal healing and nurturing environment. Clearly marked signs for direction, the use of natural lighting, fish tanks, carpeted floors, comfortable rooms and designs that engage the senses and break down the barriers are just some of the unique design elements. Patients can access home-like, non-institutional areas such as unit-based kitchens, lounges, family spaces, gardens, Raphael Rooms and the Christ the King Chapel, which features inspirational stained glass windows.
As a community hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital doesn’t just treat illness but also serves to promote the overall health of our community by working with schools, churches, service clubs and other local partners to offer an extensive array of screenings, support groups and educational programs.
The quality of the hospital experience can be greatly improved by promoting caring connections between the patients and their support systems. Effective communication between all caregivers, patients and their families is a vital element of good healthcare. Good Samaritan Hospital believes in advocacy for all patients entrusted in their care so that they may find emotional, physical and personal comfort. One way this is achieved is through our Care Partners program. If you or a loved one is hospitalized at Good Samaritan, ask your nurse how you can participate in the Care Partners program.
Touch reduces anxiety, pain, stress and benefiting patients, families and staff members. Good Samaritan Hospital’s licensed massage therapists are at the service of family members and co-workers to provide ‘soft touch’ and therapeutic massages. Creating connections in a caring and compassionate way promotes healing, comfort and inner peace.
A cornerstone of Good Samaritan Hospital’s complementary therapies is pet therapy. Pets can have a positive impact on a patient’s recovery. Volunteers and from our local animal assisted therapy program visit patients with their certified and trained pet therapy animals.
Nutrition is essential to healing. Food is needed not only for good health, but also as a source of pleasure, comfort and familiarity. Custom-made and culturally diverse meals are offered upon request. Good nutritional practices are promoted through our dietitians to promote healthy eating practices.
Patient Education / Access to Information
Striving to promote access and delivery of understandable health information is of paramount importance to Good Samaritan Hospital staff. The Planetree model is founded on the belief that if patients have access to information regarding their illness and hospitalization, they can become active participants in their own health. Patients, families and community members are encouraged to be actively involved in decisions affecting their care and well-being through access to meaningful information – whether that is when reviewing medical records, medication materials, informed waiting practices, diagnosis-related information and discharge instructions. All medical chart information is available to patients 24 hours a day. Educational materials are provided for those who wish to learn more about their illness, diagnostic tests and medication.
Planetree recognizes the vital role of spirituality in healing the whole person. Good Samaritan Hospital is committed to fostering an environment of care that encourages each patient, family and staff member to utilize their particular spiritual or religious path as a resource for health, wholeness and healing. Our Pastoral Care department coordinates meeting the spiritual needs of our patients, family members and staff.
Incorporating the Planetree Model
The Planetree model is patient-centered rather than provider focuses and is committed to improving medical care from the patient's perspective. At Good Samaritan Hospital, patient and family lounges are on each unit. Some lounges have full kitchens, to help create a more home-like environment.
Planetree was first introduced to Good Samaritan Hospital more than 10 years ago, so when we added on the West Tower in 2005, it was designed and constructed around the Planetree philosophy.
In 2010, a Healing Garden was designed just outside our Cancer Center. One of our physicians designed and created two benches for this garden for visitors to rest. Family members donated a fountain and other garden décor to create a peaceful atmosphere. The garden is now in full bloom.
Another Planetree program was initiated from a patient's suggestion to provide e-mail access for patients and their families. We have placed computers with high-speed Internet connections in several areas of our hospital so patients and family members can stay connected to their families, jobs or friends.