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’Most Wired’ Hospital Partners with GetWellNetwork(r) as Part of Patient-Centered Care Initiative; Sentara Williamsburg Community Hospital and GetWellNetwork to Share Latest Patient-Centered Care Advances At Planetree Annual Meeting (October 9 –12, 2005)


BETHESDA, Md. Oct. 10 -- Experts report evidence that U.S. hospitals have made important strides in patient-centered care. Not only has this trend been fueled by improved medical outcomes, but also improvements in hospital staff morale and bottom line results.

This trend is being led by Planetree, a non-profit membership organization that for the last 27 years has worked with hospitals and health centers to develop and implement patient-centered care. Planetree embodies a philosophy that imparts the need to work together to create an optimal spiritual, emotional, and clinical healing environment for patients, their families and hospital staff. Planetree is holding its annual meeting October 9-12 at the Westfield Marriott in Chantilly, Va.

Planetree reports exponential growth among its membership, called Planetree Hospital Affiliates, up from 25 hospitals in 2001 to more than 100 hospitals including international members in the Netherlands, Japan, Iceland, Ireland, Brazil and Canada. This growing movement is helping to transform patient-centered care from theory into reality, combining a wide variety of treatments that include traditional and complementary medicine with technology that appears to be dramatically enhancing patient outcomes and improving hospital staff morale.

A Planetree Affiliate since June 2002, Sentara Williamsburg Community Hospital in Williamsburg, VA is a 139-bed facility that has a history of incorporating both high tech and high touch programs to benefit their patients. Sentara was recently honored with the esteemed CIO-100 Award from the publishers of CIO magazine which recognizes organizations that demonstrate the highest level of operational and strategic excellence. The system was also recognized as part of Hospitals and Health Network magazine’s “Most Wired Hospitals.”

To underscore Sentara Williamsburg’s commitment to the Planetree mission, four years ago the hospital became the first site for GetWellNetwork, the leading provider of interactive patient care technology. In this time, the hospital has taken advantage of the GetWellNetwork system to empower patients to take part in their own care process. Specifically, the system transforms an ordinary television monitor in a patient’s room into an education, communication, and entertainment resource for the patient.

Sentara Williamsburg Community Hospital and GetWellNetwork will be co-presenting at the Planetree Annual Conference on Monday, October 10, at 11 a.m.

Sentara Williamsburg considers its partnership with GetWellNetwork an essential component to fulfilling its Planetree strategy. “We’ve taken the best of the Planetree ideas and meshed it with GetWellNetwork,” says Margaret Cullivan, MEd, RN, and Director of Volunteer Services/Planetree at Sentara Williamsburg Community Hospital. The hospital offers patients access to a hospital concierge who can run errands or shop, aroma therapy and certified pet therapy, and menu options via GetWellNetwork that allow patients to view daily inspirational messages, tap into email and the Internet, explore their health concerns, care and treatment, and communicate the smallest details about their hospital stay to nurses and administrators"

“When you combine the high tech of GetWellNetwork with the high touch patient care practices of Planetree, you’re creating a healing environment that every patient needs and deserves,” says Cullivan. “In an ideal world, nursing staffs would be able to be with a patient all the time. But in the real world, we can’t do that. GetWellNetwork offers patients a way to access their own healing resources to feel better.”

GetWellNetwork Founder and CEO, Michael B. O’Neil notes that as Sentara Williamsburg was an early adopter of GetWellNetwork technology, the hospital has advanced rapidly to make GetWellNetwork a central part of its Planetree patient care strategy. “Sentara’s commitment to patient-centered care is truly unique and powerful, and we are thrilled to contribute by leveraging the GetWellNetwork PatientLife:)System to drive their Planetree initiatives. The collaboration of three organizations -- Sentara Healthcare, Planetree and GetWellNetwork -- is creating transformational change in patient care, and we are honored to play a role in Sentara’s efforts to deliver optimal patient care.”


About Sentara Williamsburg Community Hospital

Sentara Williamsburg Community Hospital, is a 139-bed hospital serving upper Peninsula Virginia residents and tourists with emergency, surgical, cardiac, and cancer services. The hospital specializes in medicine, surgery and obstetrics. It also features complete diagnostic and imaging services, cardiac care, a cancer treatment center, pediatrics and orthopedics. Other services include home health, emergency services, a Hospitalist program, community health education, and world-class eICU(r) technology. A new, technologically advanced Outpatient Care Center opened in 2003 in York County. It is the first phase of what will eventually become a state-of-the-art medical care campus and hospital that are designed with patient needs in mind. The new hospital, Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center, will open in August of 2006.

About GetWellNetwork

GetWellNetwork(r) is the leading provider of interactive patient care solutions. In partnership with more than 30 thought leading hospitals and healthcare systems, the company is focused on transforming the care process into a patient-centric environment that drives an optimal quality care experience. This is accomplished through the deployment of the PatientLife:)System(tm) that turns in-room television monitors into an interactive experience that informs, educates and entertains. More importantly, the platform enables hospitals to achieve their vision of delivering true patient-centered care - putting powerful, integrated services at the fingertips of patients, caregivers and hospital administrators. GetWellNetwork headquarters are in Bethesda, Maryland. For more information, visit or call 240-482-3200.



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