Toward More Compassionate Healthcare Systems; Comment on “Enabling Compassionate Healthcare: Perils, Prospects and Perspectives”

Document Type: Commentary

Author

The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare, Boston, MA, USA

Abstract

Compassion is central to the purpose of medicine and the care of patients and their families. Compassionate healthcare begins with compassionate people, but cannot be consistently provided without systemic changes that enable clinicians and staff to collaborate and to care. We propose seven essential commitments to foster more compassionate healthcare organizations and systems: a commitment to compassionate leadership, to teach compassion, to value and reward compassionate care, to support clinical caregivers, to involve and partner with patients and families, to build compassion into the organization of healthcare delivery, and a commitment to deepen our understanding of compassion and its impact through research. Acting on these commitments will help us attend with care to the ill, injured, and vulnerable in every interaction.

Keywords


  1. Tipping MD, Forth VE, O’Leary KJ, Malkenson DM, Magill DB, Englert K, et al. Where did the day go?--a time-motion study of hospitalists. J Hosp Med 2010; 5: 323–8. doi: 10.1002/jhm.790
  2.  Linzer M, Manwell LB, Williams ES. Bobula JA, Brown RL, Varkey AB, Man B, et al. Working conditions in primary care: physician reactions and care quality. Ann Intern Med 2009; 151: 28–36.
  3. Wallace JE, Lemaire JB, Ghali WA. Physician Wellness: a missing quality indicator. Lancet 2009; 374: 1714–21. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(09)61424-0
  4. Mannion R. Enabling compassionate healthcare: perils, prospects and perspectives. Int J Health Policy Manag 2014; 2: 115-7. doi: 10.15171/ijhpm.2014.34
  5. Weng HY, Fox AS, Shackman AJ, Stodola DE, Caldwell JZK, Olson MC, et al. Compassion training alters altruism and neural responses to suffering. Psychol Sci 2013; 24: 1171–80. doi: 10.1177/0956797612469537 
  6. Lown BA, Manning CF. The Schwartz Center Rounds: evaluation of an interdisciplinary approach to enhance patient-centered communication, teamwork and provider support. Acad Med 2010; 85: 1073–81. doi: 10.1097/acm.0b013e3181dbf741