T.J. Samson Hospital Goes Holistic

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Soon the atmosphere at T.J. Samson Hospital will be dramatically different. Starting in the parking lot, jazz music will be played as a form of music therapy, and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

"Planetree Hospital is a hospital that was actually developed to embrace a patient-centered care model. And what we mean by a patient-centered care is that it embraces the patient and puts them at the center of their healthcare plan," says Dana Sheer, of Planetree Hospitals.

T.J. Samson's new approach will incorporate more patient family involvement and more patient information (including keeping patients records at their bedsides, instead of on the door) and a caring touch approach for nurses at the Glasgow-based hopital.

Sheer says, "The back-end benefit is that you have much better patient outcomes. Patient-centered care actually means better patient outcomes. Patient-centered care also means greater employee satisfaction."

The hospital recognizes many patients with cancer or other serious illnesses turn to alternate forms of medicine for treatment. The Planetree approach will offer these to patients in a hospital setting.

Sheer says, "That's blending the best of Western medicine and bringing in things we know patients are using, such as acupuncture and massage and aromatherapy and making that a vital part of the care plan."

The Institute of Medicine says hospitals should fundamentally change the way healthcare is delivered. T.J. Samson says they want to be thought of as a whole-listic hospital- one that looks at the patients whole needs and not just medical.

Sheer says, "Looking at our hospitals as a place of health and wellness, as opposed to a place of sickness."

T.J. Samson is the first hospital in Kentucky to adopt the holistic patient-centered care. Hospital officials say some of the new treatments will not be covered by insurance, but that remains to be seen. They also say they will be conducting focal groups in the community to find out exactly what people want to see when they come in. T.J. Samson will begin implementing the new policies soon and all the changes should be complete in 3-4 years.