New White Paper Reveals Strategies Hospitals and Health Systems Employ to Deliver More Compassionate Care

Mar 23, 2015, 08:00 ET from The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare

BOSTON, March 23, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Healthcare organizations that place a high priority on delivering compassionate care believe that supporting clinicians is essential to preserving their compassion and are committed to involving patients and families in care improvement activities, according to a new Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare white paper based on interviews with senior leaders at 35 U.S. hospitals and health systems.

The white paper, Building Compassion into the Bottom Line, is available at:

"We were struck by how many of the organizations we interviewed recognize the incredible pressures healthcare providers are under today and how that affects their ability to be compassionate to patients, families and each other," said Schwartz Center Executive Director Julie Rosen. "In light of alarming rates of burnout, we encourage healthcare leaders to consider the systemic and individual factors that degrade caregiver compassion and patient experience and provide the infrastructure, interventions and incentives to elevate both."

The interviews were conducted on behalf of the Schwartz Center by Community Action Partners (CAP), a volunteer organization of Harvard Business School and Kennedy School alumni who conducted telephone interviews with senior leaders at hospitals and health systems across the U.S. They also visited three hospitals in the Boston area to conduct more extensive interviews with multiple staff members to gain a deeper understanding of compassionate care practices.

The following major themes emerged from the interviews and are detailed in the white paper:

  1. Employee experience drives patient experience and compassionate care.
  2. Involving patients and families in care improvement activities is essential.
  3. Hiring and training for compassion are critically important.
  4. Successful organizations have a culture of experimentation; compassionate care champions, often in the middle of the organization; and units that model compassionate care and share their strategies with others.
  5. Compassionate care requires continuity of care and teamwork.
  6. Transparency of patient experience data is a powerful tool to improve performance.
  7. Simple tactics can make a difference.

About the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare
The Schwartz Center is the only national nonprofit dedicated to nurturing patient-caregiver relationships to strengthen the human connection at the heart of healthcare. It has been a leading proponent of compassion in healthcare settings since its inception in 1995. Its Schwartz Center Rounds® program, which brings clinicians and other frontline staff together to discuss the challenging emotional and social issues they face in caring for patients and families, has been adopted by more than 450 healthcare organizations in the U.S., U.K. and Canada. Visit us at or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

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SOURCE The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare