Providing Patient-Centered Care Using the Planetree Model at Altenheim Therapy Rehab

If you are a caretaker or someone who needs medical care, going into treatment can cause anxiety and that’s very understandable. After passing through the doors of a treatment center, you might feel like you’re just a small part of a large, cold, uncaring machine. At a hospital, you might talk to a dizzying number of healthcare professionals, receive instructions and medications at a fast pace, pay the bill, and are out of the door without fully understanding what just happened.

One healthcare model wants to change that. In 1978, Angela Theiriot founded Planetree after a traumatic hospital experience. She created this human-centered philosophy that focuses on bringing humanity and empathy back to healthcare by providing care centered on you – the patient. In this model, the patient comes first, and this leads to a better experience and improved outcomes for you and your loved ones.

Patient centered care is a popular talking point in medical treatment communities across the country, but what does it mean in reality? To create a truly patient-centered practice, a facility would incorporate eight foundational principles to create an environment that reduces anxiety and encourages healing.

These principles are:

  1. Respect for the preferences of the patient
  2. Coordination and integration of care
  3. Information and education
  4. Continuity and transitions
  5. Access to care
  6. Physical comfort
  7. Emotional support
  8. Involvement of family and friends

Putting the patient first at Altenheim Therapy Rehab

Respect for the preferences of the patient: At Altenheim Therapy Rehab, we recognize that you are a unique individual with your own needs, beliefs and values. Our treatment plans include you as an integral part of the decision-making process. Your dignity is respected and your opinions are valued.

Coordination and integration of care: Patient care is often complicated, requiring cooperation between different groups. Internal communication is improved to make it faster and easier for your needs to be cared for. At Altenheim Therapy Rehab, many of our patients are staying with us in nursing care after a hip or knee replacement. Depending on your treatment plan, there may be many different specialists involved in your care. The Planetree model ensures that staff actively help make the entire process to a full recovery easier for you or your loved one.

Information and education: It is important for you, either as a patient or as a caregiver, to receive regular updates on your clinical status, progress, and overall outlook. In our patient centered model, our healthcare professionals will educate you on the processes involved in your care, why they are necessary, and how they will help you.

Continuity and transitions: You and your family can be a part of the discussions when our healthcare providers are performing rounds. When discharged you are provided with information on your medications and possible adjustments you may have to make in your routine until you recover.

Access to care: Because we’re dedicated to patient-centered care, attention is given to make sure you know how to get the care you need when you need it. It is easier to make follow-up appointments and referrals are easier to access.

As you can see, patient centered care involves empowering the patient. It removes the feelings of powerlessness that many experience when they receive medical attention. What other positive experiences are created by this healthcare model?

Giving care and providing comfort

This approach focuses on the whole person, giving attention to their emotional and physical well-being.

Physical comfort: Our top priority of caregivers is keeping your pain well-managed. While you’re in our care at Altenheim Therapy Rehab, we assist in performing daily tasks that may be difficult, like getting dressed or eating. Our staff create a pleasant environment that is calming with peaceful artwork and activities that can divert your attention away from your illness. They take steps to reduce factors like noise that could have a negative impact on you.

Emotional support: We work to alleviate any fears and anxieties you may have about treatment, the external impacts of your care, and how your illness may affect your family.

Focus on family

Involvement of family and friends: Family and friends are an important part of the healing process. Although family and friends may not be physically able to participate in care, we welcome them to be part of the decision-making process, reducing the stress and anxiety of everyone involved.

Overall, patients in treatment communities guided by these Planetree principles fare better than others. We at Altenheim Therapy Rehab recognize that these methods don’t just heal the body, it heals the spirit.