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6th World Nursing and Healthcare Conference

London, UK

Helen Riess

Helen Riess

Harvard Medical School and MGH, USA

Title: Professional empathy improves the patient experience and health outcomes while reducing costs: Evidence-based solutions


Biography: Helen Riess


\r\n The decline in empathy in healthcare has reached global proportions (Berwick Report, 2013) and highlights the need for evidence-based interventions. Ninety percent of nurses, physicians and hospital administrators endorsed the need for institutional empathy training in a recent Schwartz Center Survey. Professional empathy is correlated with patient safety, patient satisfaction, better health outcomes, and clinician wellbeing. Research shows that empathy for patients declines throughout medical training with increasing burnout in medical professionals. implicating up to 60% of nurses in the US. Patients are demanding humanistic care which is paramount to restoring the public’s trust in the medical profession. This presentation will highlight novel empathy research that demonstrates that empathy can be taught with sustainable behavior changes and our recent meta-analysis that demonstrated that relationship factors improved health outcomes such as obesity, asthma, diabetes, hypertension, and pulmonary infections. These interventions are closely tied to cost reduction.\r\nA multi-centered randomized controlled trial was conducted at a large general hospital to determine whether a novel neuroscience-based empathy training could improve clinician empathy at the level of patient perception. The training group showed significant improvement in patient ratings of empathy (p=.02). A brief series of three training sessions significantly improved clinicians’ empathic and relational skills as rated by their patients. The training has been translated into a web-based format for global accessibility. With patients deserving humanistic care from their healthcare institutions, we present a solution that offers a step towards systemic changes to improving compassionate care.