Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Officially, Carolinas Medical Center-Mercy is a "patient-centered" hospital.

After a three-year effort, the 95-year-old hospital in the Elizabeth neighborhood of Charlotte has become the first hospital in North Carolina to receive the designation as a Planetree hospital.

The Planetree model was created in 1978 by a San Francisco patient who had a traumatic hospital stay. Hospitals with the Planetree designation focus on ways to humanize and demystify the health-care experience by using integrative therapies and visual and performing arts to enhance the healing environment.

Last year, Carolinas HealthCare System completed a $96 million renovation at CMC-Mercy that included a new two-story lobby and the addition of an adjacent five-floor office building. The lobby features an 11-foot bronze fig tree. Original art adorns every public space, and a grand piano in the mezzanine is available to anyone who wishes to play.

As part of patient-centered care, visitors are allowed at any hour, even in intensive care units. Patients are offered massage, music therapy, aromatherapy and pet visitation. Employees invite patients’ families and caregivers to become “care partners” who assist with small personal tasks, such as bathing loved ones, or more significant ones, such as discussions with doctors and nurses about diagnoses and treatment options.

“We believe that dialogue and the exchange of information with the care team empowers patients,” said Dr. Dael Waxman, medical director of patient-centered programming at CMC-Mercy. “It allows patients to become active participants in making healthcare decisions.”


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Speed Date for a Doctor

In February, Presbyterian Healthcare hosted its first "Find Dr. Right" event to help match patients with gynecologists.

Now, they're back with pediatricians and family physicians in three more "Find Dr. Right" events in the Lake Norman, south Charlotte and Strawberry Hill areas. Parents and parents-to-be will get four minutes each with participating doctors.

Events are free and start at 6 p.m. Here are the dates and locations:
May 3, Red Rocks Café, Strawberry Hill, 4223 Providence Rd.
May 10, Macaroni Grill, Promenade, 10706 Providence Rd.
May 12, Red Rocks Café, Birkdale, 8712 Lindholm Dr., Huntersville

Registration is required: 704-384-2273.
For more information: