Compassion is not just a requirement for end-of-life patients, but for all who pass through your doors. Think of the child visiting the eye doctor for the first time. The mother afraid of going to the dentist. The elderly scheduling a surgery. All are in need of compassion. In an era where one in three patients are likely to switch practices in the next few years, compassion is a key piece of what may make them stay. So what does compassion-based care look like?
One patient described it well, saying, “They (the practice staff) stop and listen, they establish a relationship and get to know who you are, they get to know me as a person and vice versa.” Compassion is founded upon real relationships where people do not feel like just another number (one of the top frustrations of patients today).
Compassion pays dividends...if you do it right
Extensive research has found that patient-based, compassionate care is incredibly positive for both patients and healthcare practices. Patient benefits include: •
- Higher patient satisfaction
- Better patient health outcomes
- Better care adherence
In an interesting twist, the benefits of compassionate care are even greater for the practice:
- Lower stress levels and burnout
- Higher job satisfaction
- Lower staff turnover
- Fewer patient complaints
- Greater patient loyalty
- Fewer malpractice suits
It seems to be a no-brainer. Unfortunately, providing compassionate care is much easier said than done. A recent study found that just 47 percent of healthcare professionals feel like they provide true patient-based, compassionate care. The same study noted that this trend is only getting worse—63 percent of doctors and nurses say that they’ve seen a decline in their ability to communicate with patients and provide the emotional support they need over the past five years.
Why the disconnect? Why does something that seems so simple turn out to be so darn hard? Let’s dig in a little deeper...
To read the rest of this guide on creating a compassionate practice, download the full piece now.