Best practices in the delivery of compassionate healthcare

Last year, the Schwartz Center worked with a group of Harvard Business School and Kennedy School alumni to identify best practices in the delivery of compassionate healthcare. They’ve now compiled what they learned into a white paper entitled “Building Compassion into the Bottom Line: The Role of Compassionate Care and Patient Experience in 35 U.S. Hospitals and Health Systems.” This white paper offer valuable insights for leaders in Dutch hospitals too that want to make an effort for compassionate care.

Below are the major themes that the Harvard team identified from their interviews with more than 75 hospital and health system CEOs and patient experience leaders. The white paper provides much more detail about each of these as well as specific examples.

Employee experience drives patient experience and compassionate care.

Involving patients and families in care improvement efforts is essential.

Hiring and training for compassion are critically important.

Successful organizations have a culture of experimentation; compassionate care champions, often in the middle of the organization; and units that model compassion and share their strategies with others.

Compassionate care requires continuity of care and teamwork.

Transparency of patient experience data is a powerful tool to improve performance.

Simple tactics can make a difference.

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