The Schwartz Center brings together caregivers, patients, policymakers, educators and researchers with the goal to ensure that compassionate care is a national healthcare priority, and as such, is a fundamental element in the design of health systems, the provision of care, the measurement of outcomes, and medical education.
Building on nearly two decades of experience, the Schwartz Center is developing a body of evidence-based knowledge to advance the understanding and delivery of compassionate care. The following white papers and publications highlight the importance of compassionate healthcare, the impact of compassion on health outcomes, best practices and recommendations for creating a healthcare environment where caregivers, patients and families can benefit from compassion for themselves and each other.
The Schwartz Center invited its 430 healthcare members to a shared-topic Schwartz Rounds on “What Happens to Compassion During an Opioid Epidemic?” The aspiration was to launch a national conversation on the impact of SUD on patients and their families, and on the healthcare workers who care for them. The goal was to foster reflection about the impact of this epidemic, to share perspectives and examine assumptions. In addition, the Center hoped that participants would emerge with renewed motivation to understand and support to each other and self-compassion when empathy wanes, so that healthcare professionals may offer the full depth of compassion to those who are suffering in the wake of this epidemic.
This white paper is based on a Schwartz Center Thought Leadership Breakfast in New York City held in partnership with NewYorkBIO. The session focused on rising healthcare costs and the role of physicians in educating patients and families about treatment costs. Speakers included Tom Lynch, MD, of the Yale Cancer Center; Aran Ron, MD, of Oscar Health Insurance; Paul Gileno of the U.S. Pain Foundation; and Jane Wasman of Acorda Therapeutics. The session, moderated by Fred Mogul of WNYC, focused on so-called “step therapy” policies adopted by an estimated two-thirds of insurance plans to control pharmaceutical spending.
More than 80 caregivers, educators, policy leaders, healthcare administrators and patient and family advocates recently gathered to identify strategies for making the U.S. healthcare system a more compassionate and collaborative one. The conference, co-sponsored by the Schwartz Center and The Arnold P. Gold Foundation in collaboration with the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation and the Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence at the University of Chicago, explored how to integrate standards for compassionate, collaborative care into health professional education and clinical care. Compassionate, collaborative care, or what we are calling “The Triple C” is critical if we are to achieve “The Triple Aim” of improving patients’ health and experiences of care while reining in costs. The resulting report includes four areas of actionable recommendations formulated by the conference participants and a Compassionate, Collaborative Care Model and Framework of attributes and specific behaviors that demonstrate The Triple C.
The Schwartz Center and Harvard Community Action Partners conducted interviews with CEOs and senior leaders at 35 U.S. hospitals and health systems to gain a deeper understanding of their compassionate care practices. These interviews revealed rich stories of how compassionate care is taught, nurtured and supported in these organizations to improve patient and caregiver satisfaction, and a hospital’s bottom line.
At a recent panel discussion in Boston, four thought leaders who work at the intersection of medicine and technology discussed how new healthcare technologies are affecting the patient-caregiver relationship. The discussion followed a similar one that took place in New York City in early 2014.
The Schwartz Center and the Conference of Boston Teaching Hospitals held eight special Schwartz Center Rounds® sessions for hospital staff, first responders and medical volunteers who treated those injured in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. This case study helps demonstrate how the program can offer an ideal forum for caregivers to process collectively the complex and challenging feelings and emotions that may arise when caring for the injured and dying in the wake of a traumatic event like a bombing, school shooting or natural disaster.
Medical practitioners and industry thought leaders tracked the growth of health information technology and its effect on patients. The result is a series of best practices for harnessing data to improve clinical interactions, reduce costs, enhance treatment and create more successful outcomes.
In 2010, the Schwartz Center conducted a survey of patients and physicians that found that there was broad agreement that compassionate care is “very important” to successful medical treatment. However, about half of patients said compassionate care is missing in the current health system. The survey results and recommendations for the development of systemic approaches to help healthcare professionals improve skills required for compassionate care were published in Health Affairs, the nation’s leading health policy journal.