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Kindness – Feeling Cared For Beyond Your Illness

A Holistic Approach To Patient Care

When patients find themselves in the hospital, they are often frightened, vulnerable, and anxious about their future. Kindness and feeling cared for can make a significant difference to this experience as part of a holistic approach to patient care.

The role of kindness in patient care

Understandably, your patients do not wish to be in hospital and the question most frequently asked of nursing staff is “When can I go home?”

Illness takes us out of our comfort zone. It affects our mood, our outlook, our hopes, and our plans for the future. Being a patient in hospital generally involves pain, lack of control and vulnerability.

Kindness is essential in delivering patient care:

  • Nearly three quarters of Americans would be willing to pay more for a healthcare provider who focused on kindness during their treatment.
  • 88% would travel to find a kinder healthcare provider. [1]

Three quarters of Americans would be willing to pay more for a healthcare provider who focused on kindness during their treatment. Click To Tweet

Kindness and compassion are attributes linked to healthcare providers. All hospital staff members are encouraged to smile, to listen and to comfort their patients.

Why does patient centered care matter?

The key concept of patient centered care is respecting the personal values of individual patients and including them in all decisions relating to their care.

Nurses play a vital role in delivering patient centered care and are the most trusted profession in the United States. Their psychological support and compassion is invaluable in the patient experience.  Physicians choose their profession because they want to make a difference.

The Institute of Medicine [2] promotes patient centered care. Furthermore, multiple studies have shown that compassion and empathy have a significant impact on patients, providers, and healthcare systems.

A 2017 study [3], coined the term “compassionomics” to describe the study of compassion science in healthcare. It notes that many studies:

 “…reported an association between compassionate, patient-centered care and favorable clinical outcomes for patients.”

Furthermore, compassionate care can offer benefits to healthcare providers and help to reduce provider burnout.

The impact of emotional wellbeing on patient recovery is huge, and all hospitals strive to create an exceptional patient experience with a holistic approach to patient care.

Showing compassion and kindness in patient care

Issues over compassion and kindness give rise to several questions for healthcare providers:

  • How else can healthcare providers embrace compassion, kindness and respect within a holistic approach to patient care?
  • How can we give back a sense of control to patients?
  • How can we provide a new way to care for patients beyond their illness?
  • What other means do we have to show respect for patients and protect their dignity?

The solutions are straightforward:

  • We can encourage patients and families to express their opinion.
  • We can provide them with a platform to deliver feedback to hospital leadership.
  • We can request advice and insights from patients and their families.
  • We can offer them ways to express their gratitude for kindnesses demonstrated by nurses, doctors, and other hospital staff involved in their care.
  • We can clearly show them that we are listening, respect their opinions, and demonstrate empathy and compassion in all of our actions.

When healthcare providers support patients and their families beyond their illness through their actions, the patient-provider relationship is strengthened, and patient loyalty is enhanced.

What’s more, a new dimension is incorporated within the holistic approach to patient care.

Offering a real-time feedback tool to patients and their families during a hospital stay clearly demonstrates how highly hospital leadership values their opinions.

iSUGEZT connects you with your patients in real-time

iSUGEZT is a user-friendly app that can be downloaded to your patients’ phones on admission.  Patients and families can subsequently offer comments through the app during their hospital stay and be confident hospital leaders will receive their messages.

This innovative way to inspire, enhance, praise, or critique enables patients and their families to provide vital feedback to your hospital in real-time.

Feedback can be shared rapidly with healthcare providers and their employees to build confidence, improve the patient experience or initiate needed process change.

[1] https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hospital-management-administration/why-practicing-medicine-with-kindness-matters.html

[2] Institute of Medicine (IOM). Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century. Washington, D.C: National Academy Press; 2001.

[3] Trzeciak S, Roberts B W., Mazzarelli, A;  Compassionomics: Hypothesis and experimental approach; Medical Hypotheses 107 (2017) 92-97.