Heritage Place Receives Formal Designation as Resident-Centered Community – Archived

June 22, 2015

Soldonta, AK – Heritage Place in Soldotna, Alaska has been formally designated by Planetree, Inc. as a “Planetree Designated® Resident-Centered Community.” This designation recognizes Heritage Place’s achievement and innovation in the delivery of resident-centered care. Heritage Place is one of only 70 healthcare organizations worldwide, and the first stand-alone skilled nursing facility in the US, to receive the Resident-Centered Designation since the program’s launch in 2007.

“The Planetree Designation is the only award that recognizes excellence in person-centeredness across the continuum of care,” said Susan Frampton, President of Planetree, Inc., an international not-for-profit organization that has been at the forefront of the movement to transform healthcare from the perspective of the patient for more than 35 years. “The designation signals to healthcare consumers that Heritage Place is a community where providers partner with residents and families, and where resident comfort, dignity, empowerment and well-being are prioritized with providing top-quality clinical care.”

The criteria that an organization must satisfy to achieve designation reflect what patients, residents, family members and healthcare professionals in hundreds of focus groups say matters most to them during a healthcare experience. This qualitative data aligns with the growing evidence-base for patient-/resident-centered care, and establishes the Planetree Designation as a concrete framework for defining and measuring excellence in patient-/resident-centeredness.

More than 60 specific criteria address components of a resident-centered healthcare experience, including resident-provider interactions, access to information, family involvement, the physical environment, food and nutrition, spirituality, arts and entertainment, and integrative therapies. In addition, the criteria focus on how the organization is supporting its staff, opportunities for staff, residents, and families to have a voice in the way care is delivered, and the ways that the organization is reaching beyond its walls to care for its community.

Guided by these core components of a resident-centered culture, over the past six years, Heritage Place has implemented a substantial number of initiatives and practices designed to enhance both the resident and staff experience.

“Residents of the Central Peninsula should be extremely proud of the recent accomplishments at Heritage Place. I want to congratulate Heritage Place and all the staff who worked so hard to achieve Planetree designation status and also for being the first skilled nursing facility in the country to do it,” said Rick Davis, CEO of Central Peninsula Hospital and Heritage Place. Davis went on to say that “Heritage Place is also the only skilled nursing facility in Alaska to receive five stars in every category rated that is scored by Medicare. This should send a signal to those who have loved ones at Heritage Place that they are in great hands.”

As part of the designation process — which included a site visit by representatives from Planetree — focus groups with current Heritage Residents and current staff validated that specific resident-centered policies are in place, including non-restrictive visiting hours and an open medical chart policy; that staff members at all levels are involved in the implementation of resident-centered care; and that the community’s physical environment is a healing one engaging all of the human senses. The process also included a review of the organization’s performance on resident satisfaction and staff satisfaction measures, as well as how measurement of clinical quality indicators improves organizational outcomes.

All designation determinations are made by an independent committee of healthcare experts and CEOs from previously designated organizations.

Heritage Place is a 60 bed rehabilitative and long term care facility, located in Soldotna, Alaska. Heritage Place accepted their first resident in 1986 and was purchased by Central Peninsula Hospital in 2006. Heritage Place provides a primary care model, meaning residents are cared for by the same team of nurses and resident assistants throughout their stay.

Founded in 1978 by a patient in San Francisco, today Planetree is an internationally recognized leader in the growing movement to transform the health care experience by considering health care facilities, processes and protocols from the perspective of the patient. In diverse healthcare settings throughout the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia and Europe, Planetree is demonstrating that patient-centered care is not only an empowering philosophy, but a viable, vital, and cost-effective model of care. Today, the Planetree membership network is a global community of more than 250 acute care hospitals, continuing care facilities, outpatient clinics, and consumer health libraries. The Planetree model is implemented in a variety of settings, ranging from 25-bed critical access hospitals to large urban medical centers with more than 2,000 beds.