Empathy, Patients and Caregivers

From ‘Who We Are’ on RemedyPartners.com Our Values: Empathy

At Remedy, we seek to be fully responsive to the patient’s needs and to recognize that Care Teams, including our own employees, are interacting with these patients at their most vulnerable moments. We take this responsibility seriously and constantly remind each other that the patient is someone’s mother, father, sister, brother, friend or relative. 

No matter what our role is in the healthcare system, we each want to contribute to improving the lives of those recovering from illness and seeking a return to health. The “glue” holding a well-run healthcare enterprise together, it strikes me, is invariably empathy. As we enter a new year, I’d like to reflect on a few practices I believe can enhance the empathy each of us naturally possesses, taken from an article I recently wrote (1). 

  • Find ways to be fully present in your human encounters with patients and co-workers. This includes minimizing interruptions whenever possible, sitting with people, making eye contact, and putting your device away.
  • Reward yourself for hard work. Make healthy rewards a regular part of your life.
  • Find time to add a wellness practice to your life, such as exercise, art, literature, spending time with your spouse/children, or community service.
  • Express the gratitude you are feeling to those you work and live with.

Empathy, which is simply our ability to understand and share the feelings of others, is essential to success in any worthwhile human endeavor. Empathy for patients, caregivers, and others working in healthcare is a sine qua non of higher quality, more affordable care and better health for individuals and populations.

1. http://www.The-hospitalist.org/article/empathy-patients-and-caregivers