How can you measure humanistic care? The Gold Foundation and Medallia, a market leader in patient experience and a Gold Corporate Council member, have been tackling this question together. Through this ongoing collaboration, the two organizations have created a new tool designed to help identify humanistic, compassionate behaviors that can help to build trust between patients and clinicians.
The tool has been under development for more than a year and was shared publicly for the first time at the Beryl Institute’s Elevate PX conference in March.
The partnership between Gold and Medallia on this tool was synergistic, born of each institution’s commitment to humanism in healthcare and building trust. The Gold Foundation has been working for more than thirty years to empower experts, learners, and leaders to create systems and cultures that support humanistic care for all. Medallia is a pioneer in capturing experience feedback across the healthcare ecosystem and turning that data into insights that can spur change.
“Humanism is an essential part of a healthcare encounter, both for patients and for clinicians,” said Richard I. Levin, MD, President and CEO of the Gold Foundation. “We are excited to be partnering with Medallia to illuminate this critical aspect of healthcare, which is often felt deeply but not measured. Together, we hope this new tool will provide information that can reward humanism in the present and help shape more humanistic care in the future.”
Studies have repeatedly shown that compassion and connection improves outcomes for patients, clinicians, and businesses. Just forty seconds of compassion was found to make a meaningful difference to a patient. These moments of empathy have tangible effects, leading to greater patient participation in care and helping to foster trust between patients and clinicians.
The way that care is perceived by the patient has a direct effect on their trust in the clinician, and potentially the healthcare system at large. Research shows that 80% of patients would not return to the same clinician if they had an experience where they lost trust.
“Patients who trust their healthcare clinicians are more likely to follow recommended treatment plans, report higher levels of satisfaction with their care, and ultimately experience improved health outcomes,” said Lee Becker, Senior Vice President of Healthcare and Public Sector at Medallia. “This tool enables healthcare systems to incorporate humanistic care into patient interactions, foster trust, and elevate the overall patient, family, and caregiver experience.”
Patients already share a lot of information with the healthcare system about their experiences. However, this groundbreaking tool was designed to allow patients to share feedback about their experience of humanistic care and to identify clinician behaviors that correlate with that care.
In creating this new tool, which is undergoing a pilot study now, the Gold Foundation and Medallia identified questions that patients can answer following a clinical visit to share their experience of humanism and trust. This 6-item scale to measure humanistic care in healthcare asks patients to reflect on whether the clinician:
- patiently addressed any questions and concerns
- asked about overall health and health-related goals
- asked about thoughts and opinions during the appointment
- offered an opportunity to follow up after the appointment
- was fully present
- showed genuine concern for the patient
“This tool can provide feedback very quickly and, importantly, it can provide feedback that is actionable, not abstract,” said Ann Bruder, Associate Vice President, Programs, at the Gold Foundation.
The insights gathered through this new measure can help healthcare professionals and institutions understand the key areas of humanistic patient care that affect patient trust in healthcare. Clinicians and organizations can then use this information to help drive changes in behavior—both individual and systemic—that will ultimately lead to better patient experience and better health outcomes.