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Does the Planetree Patient-Centered Approach to Care Pay Off?: A Cost-Benefit Analysis

Coulmont, Michel DBA; Roy, Chantale DSc; Dumas, Lucie MSc

doi: 10.1097/HCM.0b013e31827edbfe

Although the Planetree patient-centered approach to care is being implemented in many institutions around the world, its impact is still the subject of some debate. On the one hand, it is viewed as the most cost-effective way to provide care and create a positive work environment that reduces staff burnout. On the other hand, it is argued that it requires higher staffing ratios and a substantial infusion of financial resources and is time consuming, which in turn results in more work. The present study addresses the economic agenda of the Planetree patient-centered approach to care and has been designed to answer the following question: do the advantages of the Planetree patient-centered approach outweigh its costs? This question is of considerable interest for health care administrators and managers because the relevant authorities the world over have limited resources to allocate to health care organizations. Using a trend analysis approach to cost-benefit in a rehabilitation center, this study shows that the revenues the model generates are greater than the costs of implementing it. Fewer grievances and vacant positions, an improved employee retention rate, a better working atmosphere, and a high level of employee satisfaction (higher than in similar establishments) were also noted.

Author Affiliations: Department of Accounting, Université de Sherbrooke (Drs Coulmont and Roy), and Centre de Réadaptation Estrie (Ms Dumas), Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada.

The authors have no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Michel Coulmont, DBA, Université de Sherbrooke, 2500, Boulvard Université, Faculté d’Administration, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada, J1K 2R1 (

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.