St. Barnabas Hospital certified by Planetree International for person-centered care

Doctor talking to a patient in the corridor of a hospital while wearing face masks
In the Bronx, there are more than 709,000 residents enrolled in seven Medicaid managed care plans, and thousands more senior citizens who are enrolled in managed long-term care plans.
Photo courtesy Getty Images

Planetree International has awarded St. Barnabas Hospital Health System in the Bronx a Bronze Certification for Excellence in Person-Centered Care after a nearly four-year journey. The certification is in recognition of the hospital’s achievement and innovation in the delivery of person-centered care. It is the second organization to earn this prestigious award through a partnership and ongoing collaborative with the Hospital Association of New York State (HANYS).

Planetree’s distinctive focus on person-centered care is 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 given based on a variety of factors, including performance improvement on traditional quality indicators, review of policy documents and, most importantly, how patients and staff assess the organization’s person-centered culture. The Bronze Certification was awarded following a series of focus groups with patients and their loved ones, as well as staff from different disciplines within the organization. Discussions with patients and staff attested to a genuine culture of person-centered care.

“Planetree is all about ‘compassionate communications,’ which has become a cornerstone of our approach to patient care and staff interaction over the past years,” said Maureen Eisner, vice president of Patient Experience at St. Barnabas Hospital.  “Certification is a culmination of these efforts.”

The criteria address components of a person-centered health care experience, including the quality of patient-provider interactions, access to information, family involvement and the physical environment of care. Importantly, the criteria also focus on how the organization supports staff, opportunities for staff, patients and families to have a voice in the way care is delivered, and the ways that St. Barnabas Hospital reaches beyond its walls to care for its community.

As part of the certification process — which included a virtual site visit assessment by representatives from Planetree and HANYS — discussions with St. Barnabas Hospital patients, families and current staff validated that specific person-centered policies are in place. The process also included a review of the organization’s performance on patient experience and quality of care measures, and how measurement of these indicators improves organizational outcomes.