Advancing Compassionate, Person- and Family-Centered Care Through Interprofessional Education for Collaborative Practice

The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare's picture
Submitted by The Schwartz Ce... on Apr 14, 2015 - 8:22am CDT

Resource Type: 
Conference Paper

Compassion is essential for effective collaboration among healthcare professionals, patients and families. Conventional wisdom and evidence support the importance of compassionate healthcare. So why then are the concepts and skills related to empathy and compassion not routinely taught, modeled and assessed across the continuum of learning and practice?


To address this paradigm shift, The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare and The Arnold P. Gold Foundation, in collaboration with The Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation and The Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence, convened more than 80 healthcare experts—from patients, family members and advocates to clinicians, health professions educators, licensure and accreditation agency representatives, funders and administrators—with the goal of discussing and recommending ways in which compassion and collaboration can be better integrated into health professional education and clinical care.


Conferees agreed that compassionate, collaborative care, or The Triple C, is essential to achieve the Triple Aim of improving health and experiences of care while controlling costs. They shared their own experiences, listened to and discussed patient, family and caregiver stories and cases and commented on a discussion paper and competency framework of needed attributes and behaviors.


During the conference, attendees formulated four actionable recommendations to advance The Triple C — details of which are summarized in the full conference report:


  1. Involve patients and families as partners in health professional education, in their own care and in co-designing healthcare delivery
  2. Educate patients, families and healthcare professionals  about the importance of The Triple C and align needed competencies with existing education, assessment and standards
  3. Conduct research to measure The Triple C at all levels (individuals, teams and organizations) and study its outcomes
  4. Incentivize and reward attainment of The Triple C


Have ideas on how to make this happen? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below or contact:

Beth A. Lown, MD 
Medical Director, The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare,
Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School and Director of Faculty Development, Mount Auburn Hospital

Sharrie McIntosh, MHA
Senior Vice President and Chief Program Officer
The Arnold P. Gold Foundation

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Beth A. Lown, MD
Sharrie McIntosh, MHA
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