Navigation Links
Schwartz Center proposes agenda to promote compassionate care
Date:9/8/2011

Boston (September 8, 2011) In light of a national survey showing that only about half of patients believe the U.S. health care system is a compassionate one, the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare today proposed an agenda for improving such care in an article in the September issue of Health Affairs, the nation's leading health policy journal.

"For most clinicians, compassionate care matters because it is fundamental to the practice of medicine, ethically sound, and humane," according to lead author Beth Lown, MD, medical director of the Schwartz Center and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. "However, there is also strong evidence that compassionate care improves health outcomes and quality of life, increases patient satisfaction, and lowers health care costs. Particularly as our health care system faces such intense pressure to reduce costs, we must make sure that this critically important element of health care is not lost."

To ensure that all patients receive compassionate care, the Schwartz Center recommends that:

  • The federal government include compassionate care measures in national quality standards and create a Compassionate Care Index (CCI) to measure the level of compassionate care being delivered by health care institutions and individual providers;
  • The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute created by the Affordable Care Act fund comparative effectiveness research to determine which aspects of compassionate care have the greatest impact on health outcomes, quality of life, and patient satisfaction;
  • New health care payment systems, including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' proposed value-based purchasing system, reward providers for the compassionate care they provide to patients and families; and
  • Comprehensive training programs be developed to help health care professionals and trainees develop the necessary skills required for compassionate care.

The Schwartz Center's recommendations are in response to the results of a national survey of 800 patients and 510 doctors that it conducted in the fall of 2010. The survey found that only 53 percent of patients and 58 percent of doctors rate the U.S. health care system as a compassionate one, despite strong agreement among patients and doctors that compassionate care is important to successful medical treatment and can even make a difference in whether a patient lives or dies.

The survey also found that more than two-thirds of patients (67%) and more than half of doctors (55%) are concerned that the changes taking place in the U.S. health care system, including the increased emphasis on controlling costs, will affect the ability of doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals to provide compassionate care. At the time of the survey, more than half of the doctors surveyed (53%) said they were already spending less time with patients than they wanted.

According to the Schwartz Center, compassionate care is defined by the following four essential characteristics:

  1. Empathy, emotional support, and a desire to relieve a patient's distress and suffering
  2. Effective communication at all stages of a patient's illness and treatment
  3. Respecting patients' and families' desires to participate in making health care decisions
  4. Knowing and relating to the patient as a whole person, not just a disease

"There is a great deal of emphasis in health care these days on providing 'patient-centered' care, but care without compassion cannot truly be patient centered," said Dr. Lown, who also works as a general internist at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

"Health care providers need time to listen to their patients, education in the skills of compassionate care, feedback based on measures of their performance, and leaders and systems that support healing relationships with patients and families," she and her co-authors write.

"Compassion is as important in helping patients manage chronic and acute conditions as it is at the end of life," Dr. Lown added. "To improve quality and reduce costs, compassion should be present in all aspects of our health care system."


'/>"/>

Contact: Petra Langer
petralanger@comcast.net
781-640-0086
The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Research: Schwartz Center Rounds encourage compassionate health care and better teamwork
2. Second AGA Foundation/Bernard Lee Schwartz Foundation Research Scholar Award presented
3. Schwartzapfel Truhowsky Marcus P.C. Launches Special Legal Aid To The Victims of Medical Negligence And Occupational Injuries
4. World Trade Center-exposed NYC firefighters face increased cancer risk
5. As Venus Williams Bows Out of U.S. Open, Little-Known Disease Takes Center Court
6. Specialized Stroke Centers Deliver on the Weekends
7. Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to co-lead 1 of 5 NCI-funded proteomics research centers
8. Dartmouth Med School lands $11M grant for regional biomedical research center
9. University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging receives $7 million from NIA
10. Johns Hopkins Evidence-based Practice Center awarded $475,000 project
11. University Hospitals Neuromuscular Center EMG labs awarded accreditation
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan ... require a comprehensive approach that can help for preservation of fertility and ultimately ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network of ... Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased to ... said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... plastic surgery procedures that most people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to ... known procedures, but also many of these less common operations such as calf and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... MIAMI, Fla. (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Florida Trend magazine’s 2016 Legal Elite. The attorneys chosen by their peers for this ... of Florida. , Seven Greenberg Traurig Shareholders received special honors as members of this ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... the Clinical Decision Making in Emergency Medicine conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. ... articles published in Emergency Medicine Practice and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Practice. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research and ... Global Market - Forecast to 2022" report to their ... treatment method for the patients with kidney failure, it replaces ... fluid from the patient,s blood and thus the treatment helps ... and chloride in balance. Increasing number of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Roche (SIX: ... 510(k) clearance for its Elecsys BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) assay ... sepsis or septic shock. With this clearance, Roche is ... a fully integrated solution for sepsis risk assessment and ... with bacterial infection and PCT levels in blood can ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Bracket , a leading clinical trial technology and ... platform, Bracket eCOA (SM) 6.0, at the 52 nd ... 2016 in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania.  A demonstration ... of its kind to fully integrate with RTSM, will be ... is a flexible platform for electronic clinical outcomes assessments that ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: