Importance Of Empathy In Healthcare

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Why is empathy so important in healthcare? According to the author Dr. Thomas Lee, “Creating an epidemic of empathy is not an act of charity, It is a strategic business imperative…driven by competition based on value (as cited in Reid, 2016).” Empathetic treatment in healthcare can also be advantageous from a business standpoint. There was recently a story circulating about a hospital administrator who was experiencing a difficult situation with a patient covered under Medicaid. The patient in question was elderly, suffered from a chronic condition, and prescribed medicine which was needed to be taken regularly in order to be in compliance as part of his follow-up procedure. The patient, who only completed an elementary school education, would…show more content…
There are currently programs in place which work towards positive outcomes with regard to empathy in healthcare. In a recent article published in Frontiers in Public Health, “A Model to Promote Public Health by Adding Evidence-Based, Empathy Enhancing Programs to All Undergraduate Health-care Curricula,” the authors express, “Fostering empathy in future health-care providers through service-learning is emerging as central to public health promotion. Patients fare better when their caregivers have higher relationship-centered characteristics such as the ones measured by the Jefferson Scale of Empathy (Van Winkle, 2017).” Empathy is how we connect to each other as people; it is humanity at its very best. On the Johns Hopkins Medicine website an entire page “Stories of Healing at Johns Hopkins,” is devoted to former patients sharing their stories of patient care experiences of hope and healing ( It is truly a moving experience and this institution prides themselves on not only excellence in medicine but also in the quality of patient-centered…show more content…
Apparently, keeping the lines of communication flowing might just be easier than one would think. According to an article in Modern Healthcare in May of 2017: “Enter the bots. Healthgrades’ CareChats is one of the platforms providers are using to maintain communication before and after the actual point of care. Healthgrades offers many of them, each with a different personality. They can be used for various purposes, from post-operative check-ins to lifestyle coaching (Arndt, 2017).” According to David Shifrin with Health Further, “A Chatbot is a type of AI and a computer program. This means they’re programmed to respond to a conversation in a useful, directed way (2017).” Thanks to the use of artificial intelligence the lines of communication can now be extended, keeping both the patient and the physician informed through the use of modern technology. In her article, “How Chatbots Will Shape the Future of Healthcare,” Sophia Brooke comments, “…for patients living in remote areas with limited access to healthcare facilities, these tech tools could make a notable difference in the quality of their lives (2017).” Using the popular Amazon Alexa App to play your favorite music appears to be all the rage, but with privacy concerns and potential errors, it wouldn’t be a replacement for your primary care provider. Technology might be a step in the right direction, but is personal touch

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