Issue Briefs & Research

The following issue briefs 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.

June 13, 2024

Cultivating Compassionate Cultures in Healthcare: Enhancing Clinician Well-being for Better Patient Outcomes

In line with our efforts to build more compassionate cultures within healthcare, our Chief Medical Officer Dr. Beth Lown, will be joining Dr. Stephen Beeson, CEO and Founder of Practicing Excellence, for a live discussion this 25th of June at 12 PM PT/3 PM ET. In this live discussion, they will shine a light on building compassionate cultures in healthcare and the benefits of the human development journey to enhance everyone’s ability to connect with patients, collaborate with peers, and lead in ways that inspire meaningful change. Visit the episode page to find out more.

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May 10, 2024

Executive Summary: Fireside Chat with Steve Trzeciak: Leading with Compassion

Join us for a fireside chat with Stephen W. Trzeciak, MD, MPH, and Schwartz Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Beth Lown. Dr. Trzeciak is chairman and chief of the department of medicine and medical director of the Adult Health Institute at Cooper University Health Care. He is also a professor of medicine at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. Drs. Lown and Trzeciak will discuss how we create and, conversely, can erode compassionate cultures and how to demonstrate empowered compassion for ourselves and others. You will also learn about research that highlights the benefits of compassion, including its positive impact on patients, healthcare workers, and organizational culture and profitability.

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April 1, 2024

The Healing Healthcare Initiative: Guiding Leaders To Heal A Traumatized Workforce

We published a paper in “Healthcare Management Forum” describing early results of the Schwartz Center’s Healing Healthcare Initiative (HHI) pilot program. As we know, the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated burnout, highlighted health inequities, and increased staffing shortages. In particular, it intensified psychological stress injuries and mental health issues among healthcare workers and leaders.

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March 14, 2024

Executive Summary: Reframing Distress: Why Moral Injury Matters

For decades, interventions for clinician distress have been less effective than hoped. By expanding our understanding of the clinicians’ experience to include moral injury, we can create organizations with thriving practitioners who can offer better care for their patients. Join us for this special webinar, hosted by Schwartz Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Beth Lown, as we learn from Dr. Wendy Dean, CEO and co-founder of The Moral Injury of Healthcare. Dr. Dean is the author of “If I Betray These Words: Moral Injury In Medicine” and “Why It’s So Hard For Clinicians to Put Patients First,” and cohost of the “Moral Matters” and “43cc” podcasts. 

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January 30, 2024

Executive Summary: Toward a Healing Organization With Dr. Ken Epstein

In this webinar, Dr. Ken Epstein explains the characteristics of organizations that induce and perpetuate trauma through inequitable practices and policies, hierarchical decision-making, and reactivity rather than intentional reflection. Becoming a Trauma-Informed System (TIS) and ultimately a healing organization requires systemic change that promotes connection, coherent meaning making, and inclusive collaboration to address and prevent the ways organizations can induce stress and harm on its employees and the community.

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June 17, 2021

What Has the Pandemic Revealed About Health Equity and Where Do We Go From Here?

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown into sharp relief long-standing inequities in the American healthcare system. Black and brown communities have experienced a disproportionate number of coronavirus cases and deaths. For example, at the height of the pandemic in New York City, age-adjusted mortality rates for Blacks and Latinos were double those of whites and Asians. The pandemic’s economic devastation has been unevenly experienced as well. In a national survey conducted in July and August of 2020, 72% of Latino, 60% of Black, and 55% of Native American people reported they were experiencing serious financial problems. In contrast, 37% of Asian and 36% of white people said the same.

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National Schwartz Rounds on Substance Disorders

Despite our scientific understanding of addiction as a chronic disease whose sufferers are prone to relapses, many health professionals and the public still believe that addiction is a choice or a moral failing. Furthermore, common everyday language and slang stigmatizes individuals with SUD and creates cognitive bias towards punitive judgment rather than compassion.

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The Impact of Healthcare Cost Controls on the Patient-Caregiver Relationship

At the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare’s recent New York Thought Leadership Breakfast, in partnership with NewYorkBIO and held at the New York Genome Center, a panel of experts representing diverse perspectives came together to discuss the impact of healthcare cost containment on the patient-caregiver relationship, with a specific focus on so-called “step therapies” to contain prescription drug costs

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Building Compassion into the Bottom Line

Compassion is not a panacea for what ails the U.S. healthcare system, but it can be the foundation for improving patients’ care experiences, patient and caregiver satisfaction, and a hospital’s bottom line.

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Technology and the Patient-Caregiver Relationship: Another Look

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.

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Recommendations from a Conference on Advancing Compassionate, Person- and Family-Centered Care

Compassion is essential for effective collaboration among healthcare professionals, staff, patients and families. But despite evidence supporting the importance of compassionate healthcare, the concepts and skills related to empathy and compassion, and that are needed to provide person-/family-centered and relationship-based care, are not routinely taught, modeled and assessed across the continuum of learning and practice.

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Advancing Compassionate, Patient-and Family-Centered-Care through Interprofessional Education for Collaborative Practice

In our increasingly complex healthcare environments, collaboration is essential if we are to progress toward the “Triple Aim” of creating positive patient and family experiences and better health at lower cost.

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Using Schwartz Center Rounds to Help a Community Recover After Tragedy

Between October 2013 and April 2014, the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare and the Conference of Boston Teaching Hospitals (COBTH) 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.

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Seven Guiding Commitments: Making the U.S. Healthcare System More Compassionate

Despite the current focus on patient centeredness, healthcare professionals face numerous challenges that impede their ability to provide compassionate care that ameliorates concerns, distress, or suffering.

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