October is Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month

Posted on Oct 4, 2013

“Compassion in Action”

Sign System Solutions is pleased to join hundreds of patient-centered organizations from around the world in commemorating the seventh annual Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month in October. Healthcare organizations, like ours, are engaging in a variety of activities designed to support patients and build confidence in managing their health, strengthen patient-centered practices, publicly proclaim a commitment to patient-centered care, and reflect on efforts to transform the health care experience.


The theme of Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month this year is “Compassion in Action” and emphasizing the importance supporting professional caregivers in providing care in a manner that yields the enriching and satisfying patient experiences and positive quality outcomes. It is incumbent on patient-centered healthcare organizations to nurture empathy, compassion, and emotional intelligence in staff.


“Patient-centered health care organizations build patient confidence by supporting patients, their loved ones and the team of health care providers to all be on the same page in understanding the patient’s health and health care needs. Confidence comes from being able to control and manage your health, which includes communication with providers about health history, current needs and future plans. Additionally, patients are encouraged to identify a care partner who understands the diagnosis, coordinates care and serves as an advocate,” said Planetree President Susan B. Frampton, Ph.D.


As part of Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month in October, Sign System Solutions promotes its commitment to the values of patient-centered care:


A patient is an individual to be cared for, not a medical condition to be treated. 


Each patient is a unique person, with diverse needs.


Each staff member is a caregiver, whose role is to meet the needs of each patient.


Our patients are our partners and have knowledge and expertise that is essential to their care.


Our patients’ family and friends are also partners and we welcome their involvement.


Access to understandable health information is essential to empower patients to participate in their care and it is our responsibility to provide access to that information.


The opportunity to make decisions is essential to the well-being of our patients.  It is our responsibility to maximize patients’ opportunities for choices and to respect those choices.


Our patients’ well-being can be enhanced by an optimal healing environment, including access to music and the arts, satisfying food and complementary therapies.


To effectively care for patients, we must also care for our staff members by supporting them in achieving their highest professional aspirations, as well as their personal goals.


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.



Several activities are planned to increase awareness about the patient-centered model of care, empower patients and families, and inspire health care organizations to further advance and expand the practice. Highlights of the month’s activities include:

  • The 2013 Planetree Annual Conference featuring hundreds of sessions led by health care experts to inspire ideas and provide practical approaches to patient-centered care will be held October 6-9 in Montréal, Québec.
  • The recognition of individual health care professionals for their personal embodiment of the values of patient-centered care at the annual Spirit of Planetree Awards on October 9 concluding the 2013 Planetree Annual Conference.
  • U.S. governors are commemorating the event by signing proclamations recognizing Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month in their states.
  • Hospitals are coordinating a variety of events as well as distributing “I Am an Expert About Me” stickers to patients, and staff members are wearing “I Am Listening” buttons.
  • The Planetree website, www.planetree.org, features a variety of free resources and tool kits, including information about Compassion in Action, for patients and caregivers under the Resources & Tools section.


Founded in 1978 by a San Francisco patient, Planetree is raising the standard of personalized care delivery by coaching organizations to inspire and enable caregivers to transform the healthcare experience they provide. A list of Planetree hospitals and a list of questions patients should ask hospitals are available at www.planetree.org.

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