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Picker Institute Awards Always Events Grant to Anne Arundel Medical Center

Picker Institute, an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to improving patient-centered care, announced today that it had awarded a matching grant to Anne Arundel Medical Center. The grant is being administered under Picker Institute’s Always Events /Always Experiences  initiative, which was launched in April 2010. The grant is one of 20 awarded to institutions around the country.

Always Events /Always Experiences  refers to those aspects of the patient and family experience that should always occur during interaction with healthcare professionals and/or the healthcare delivery system. The grant program provides matching funds in support of innovative approaches to creating specific Always Events  that achieve measurable improvements in patient- and family-centered care.

“This concept is a very important step forward in the journey toward our ultimate goal,” said Lucile O. Hanscom, executive director of Picker Institute. “As a distillation of the essence of our Eight Principles of Patient-Centered Care, Always Events /Always Experiences  represents the next phase in the evolution of the institute’s guiding principle. Informed in this initial stage by two of the most important tenets, communication and care transition, it represents a very strong complement to our robust programs in education, research, recognition of best practices, publications and support for advancing patient-centered care.

“When we introduced Always Events /Always Experiences  about a year ago, it drew a very enthusiastic response,” she added, “and we have been very gratified to see support for this innovative program gathering strength and positive feedback at all levels of the healthcare industry. Our list of grantees is very impressive, and we look forward to working with the great team at Anne Arundel Medical Center to make Always Events /Always Experiences  a vital part of the medical vocabulary and the healthcare industry.”

“This Always Events  grant will remodel care during hospital discharge–here and nationwide–to provide care that should alwayshappen,” said Sherry Perkins, SVP of Patient Care and chief nursing officer, Anne Arundel Medical Center.

Here is a brief overview of the Anne Arundel Medical Center’s winning proposal:

Organization/Institution: Anne Arundel Health System
Principal Investigator(s): Sherry B. Perkins, PhD, RN, and Mitchell Schwartz, MD
Project Title: The SMART Discharge Protocol

Always Event(s): Always provide the patient with a SMART discharge process.  With the involvement of patients and families, providers will develop a simple, universal  5-item checklist as a SMART Discharge ProtocolSM. (SMART is an acronym for: Signs, Medications, Appointments, Results, and Talk with me.) Providers will build on current evidence; create urgency and expectation for use with patients, families and caregivers; disseminate findings; and promote as a national standard.

Overview: Develop with patients and families a universal SDP as a discharge Always Event. The SDP includes: 1) the SDP process that results in a written plan—SMARTtool; 2) curriculum for patients, families, staff: Process for using SMARTtool throughout stay as worksheet and at discharge as a checklist; and 3) patient access to inpatient/ambulatory records. This initiative will be implemented on three units (surgery, medicine, obstetrics) to demonstrate universality.

For more information on the institute’s Always Events /Always Experiences  initiative, please visit

About Picker Institute: Picker Institute is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of the principles of patient-centered care and the global patient-centered care movement. Picker Institute sponsors research and education in the fields of patient-centered care and recognizes best practices  in fostering continued improvement in healthcare from the patient’s perspective. Picker Institute, with  a sister organization, Picker Institute Europe, in the U.K, advances patient-centered care through education programs, research grants, annual best-practices recognition awards, publications on patient-centered care topics, the design of scientifically valid survey instruments for use throughout Europe, research databanks and participation in national and international symposiums.

Carolyn Marsh
Communications/PR Director
Picker Institute
P.O. Box 777
Camden ME 04843
Toll-free: 1.888.680.7500
Fax: 1.888.680.9200

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