BOSTON, June 27, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare, a national leader in the movement to strengthen and sustain the human connection at the heart of healthcare, today announced the results from a national poll of patients, physicians and nurses that indicated that while patients feel more positively about the U.S. healthcare system today than in 2010, they're concerned, as are physicians and nurses about the future of compassion.
These findings were announced at the inaugural Compassion in Action Healthcare Conference where five hundred clinicians, healthcare organizational leaders, health professional students and patient-family advisors convened with the common goal of ensuring that compassionate care is an integral part of their organizations and the communities they serve, and to share best practices and approaches that will help others introduce innovative programs in their healthcare systems.
National Scorecard Results on Compassionate Care
As a follow-up to the original national survey that was conducted in 2010, the new data suggests that the healthcare system has been making some progress in moving towards more-patient centered care, but still faces critical challenges, especially from the perspective of physicians and nurses. This latest poll comes amidst implementation of the Affordable Care Act and other sweeping changes from the adoption of electronic medical records to alternative payment models.
In 2010, 53% of patients and 58% of physicians said that the U.S. healthcare system provides compassionate care. In the new survey, a higher proportion of patients (60%) responded that the system provides compassionate care, but only 47% of physicians agreed. Nurses were added to the most recent survey, with only 42% responding that they thought the U.S. healthcare system provides compassionate care.
When asked whether changes in the healthcare system would make it more difficult to provide compassionate care, 69% of physicians thought that it would be more difficult, as compared with 55% in 2010. Nearly half of the patients, 51%, reported that healthcare system changes would make it more difficult to provide compassionate care. The responses, especially from physicians, point to a significant amount of concern about the future for the U.S. healthcare system and the ability to engage patients and families in meaningful and impactful way.
Most concerning was the data around perceptions of whether communication and emotional support shown by physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals has declined over the past 5 years. 63% of physicians and nurses responded that they saw a decline in communication and emotional support from healthcare professionals as compared with 42% of patients who agree that there has been a decline.
The results from this latest national survey demonstrates the need to focus on organizational culture, support and the well-being of the healthcare workforce to offer compassion as a key factor in health system improvement.
The national scorecard was supported through a grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations and conducted by Braun Research from May 5, 2017, through June 7, 2017, among 601 patients who had been hospitalized for at least three days within the past 18 months and 380 physicians and 250 nurses who spend at least some of their time taking care of hospitalized patients.
Conference Addresses Issues, Presents Innovative Solutions, and Rewards Role Models
While the national scorecard results painted a somewhat dim outlook for the state of our healthcare workforce, the coalition of stakeholders participating in the inaugural Compassion in Action Healthcare Conference have been focused on positive and practical solutions, and on ways to improve the outlook for our healthcare workforce and health systems.
As part of this effort, the first Corman IMPACT Honors program recognized three exceptional organizations across the U.S. and Canada for their innovative strategies to support the health and well-being of employees, patients and their families. They are:
Danbury Hospital (Danbury, Connecticut)
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital (Toronto, Canada)
Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park Medical Center (Baldwin Park, California)
"We are pleased to honor these innovative organizations for the exemplary and successful compassionate care programs they have developed, with environments where healthcare workers thrive, and patients and their families feel deeply cared for," said Ruth Kilduff, RN, Chair of the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Care Board. "Their programs demonstrate that compassionate care is not just an end goal, but a means to achieving better outcomes, higher quality and even lower costs for the health system."
The conference, which featured many healthcare system leaders, practicing clinicians and experts in patient experience and workforce well-being, has convened a national consortium of stakeholders not traditionally brought together due to the vast diversity of expertise and professional roles and responsibilities.
Participants have shared new initiatives, programs and actionable strategies that will advance cultures of compassion, improve communications and inter-professional team work, and create positive environments where compassionate care abounds in their own communities.
About the Corman IMPACT Honors
The Corman IMPACT Honors (Innovative Member Programs Advancing Compassion and Teamwork) celebrates healthcare members of the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare who are making a transformational impact by creating programs or initiatives that promote compassionate, collaborative care within their organizations or systems. The inaugural honorees include programs from Schwartz Center member organizations across the U.S. and Canada, each with a distinctive perspective on caring for caregivers, patients and their families. From the use of technology to creating a reprieve from the hospital environment, these programs each exemplify how Schwartz Center members are prioritizing compassionate care.
Danbury Hospital, Danbury, CT
Program Title: Goldstone Caregiver Center
The Goldstone Caregiver Center is a warm, home-like environment where patients' families can find a quiet space for respite, privacy and reflection while still being close to the person they are caring for. Caregivers can meet with a licensed clinical social worker or spiritual care professionals and are able to enjoy healthy snacks and beverages, use public access computers, borrow from a lending library of caregiver books and browse a collection of local resources. All services and amenities are free of charge.
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Toronto, ON
Program Title: A System Wide Approach to Transform Compassionate Care
Holland Bloorview implemented a system-wide multi-pronged program working towards embedding compassionate, collaborative care throughout clinical practice and beyond. This is done through five strategic initiatives: Schwartz Rounds, an interprofessional orientation, a strengths-based leadership and management training program, an innovative arts-based narrative nursing research initiative, and a pilot shadowing challenge initiative called "Walk in Their Shoes" that intends to bring the lived experience of front-line clinicians to the leadership team.
Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park, Baldwin Park, CA
Program Title: Improving Communication with Patients/Families in the ICU
Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park created an intervention program to improve the overall communication with patients and families in the ICU setting. A social worker is assigned to the ICU and meets with families within the first twenty four hours of stay to identify their needs and comfort level with ICU protocols.
About the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare
Established in 1995, the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare, a leader in the movement to strengthen and sustain the human connection at the heart of healthcare, was founded on the belief that greater compassion and more meaningful collaboration are fundamental to the kind of care clinicians want to deliver and patients want to receive.
The Schwartz Center is an independent, non-profit organization, with more than 425 healthcare members in the U.S., Canada and Australia, supporting 200,000 healthcare professionals each year. In partnership with the Point of Care Foundation, more than 150 organizations conduct the innovative Schwartz Rounds™ program in the U.K., which unites caregivers from a range of disciplines to share experiences, learn from each other and focus on the human dimension of medicine. Schwartz Center members rely on programs, education and resources to support clinician well-being, enhance the quality of care, enable better outcomes and create a more positive and rewarding experience for all members of the care team, patients and their families.
To help patients and family members acknowledge caregivers who epitomize the qualities of compassionate care, the Schwartz Center established the Honor Your Caregiver program. Through its National Compassionate Caregiver of the Year Award, the Center celebrates healthcare professionals who display extraordinary devotion and compassion in caring for patients and families.
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SOURCE The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare