The report resulted from an interprofessional conference hosted by the Schwartz Center and The Gold Foundation, in collaboration with The Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation and the Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence at the University of Chicago. The conference convened more than 80 healthcare experts—from patients, family members and advocates to clinicians, health professions educators, licensure and accreditation agency representatives, funders and administrators—with the goal of discussing and recommending ways in which compassion and collaboration can be better integrated into health professional education and clinical care.
"We need compassion and collaboration among all members of the healthcare team—patients, families, clinicians and other frontline staff alike," said Schwartz Center Medical Director Beth Lown, MD. "Without the knowledge and expertise each person brings to the table, without mutual caring and respect, without willingness to work together on behalf of the patient's best interest, we won't achieve the health outcomes that are important to all of us."
Conferees agreed that compassionate, collaborative care, or "The Triple C" as conference organizers have coined it, is essential if healthcare providers are to achieve The Triple Aim of improving health and experiences of care while controlling costs. They shared their own experiences, listened to and discussed patient, family and caregiver stories, and commented on a discussion paper and competency framework of needed attributes and behaviors.
The report highlights four actionable recommendations to advance The Triple C:
Involve patients and families as partners in health professional education, in their own care and in co-designing healthcare delivery
Educate patients, families and healthcare professionals about the importance of The Triple C and align needed competencies with existing education, assessment and standards
Conduct research to measure The Triple C at all levels (individuals, teams and organizations) and study its outcomes
Incentivize and reward attainment of The Triple C
"Compassionate providers and educators need to create an environment in which patients and families can share their expertise," said The Gold Foundation Senior Vice President and Chief Program Officer Sharrie McIntosh. "This notion of The Triple C and its co-production cannot be nurtured solely at the individual or relational level. It also must be supported by systems and embedded into institutional cultures, policies and incentive structures."
According to the conference report, The Triple C is necessary to achieve The Triple Aim. "It is what practitioners want to provide and what patients and families want and need," said Dr. Lown. "The work ahead lies in understanding and leveraging the support needed to make The Triple C the standard of care in every healthcare organization and system—and in every interaction."
About The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare is a national nonprofit dedicated to nurturing patient-caregiver relationships to strengthen the human connection at the heart of healthcare. Research shows that when caregivers are compassionate, patients do better and caregivers rediscover their passion for healing. The Center believes that a strong patient-caregiver relationship characterized by effective communication, emotional support, mutual trust and respect, and the involvement of families in healthcare decisions is fundamental to high-quality healthcare. Visit us at theschwartzcenter.org or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
About The Arnold P. Gold Foundation The Arnold P. Gold Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1988, works with healthcare professionals in training and in practice to instill a culture of respect, dignity and compassion for patients and professionals. Learn more at humanism-in-medicine.org or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.