The Antidote to Suffering: How Compassionate Connected Care Can Improve Safety, Quality, and Experience
An indispensable guide to reducing the suffering―of patients and caregivers alike―and to improving healthcare delivery for all In our efforts to treat patients, cure illness, and manage institutions, healthcare professionals too often overlook the fundamental purpose everyone in the industry shares: to alleviate suffering. Press Ganey's Chief Nursing Officer, Christina Dempsey, has worked everywhere in healthcare, from the ward floor to the hospital boardroom. She has also experienced the system as a patient and as a family member of a critically ill patient. In The Antidote to Suffering , this 30-year healthcare veteran and patient-experience thought leader argues that the key to improving healthcare is to reduce the suffering--physical, psychological, and emotional--of patients and caregivers alike through Compassionate Connected CareTM. Drawing on her 360-degree perspective, Dempsey offers a comprehensive, detailed, evidence-based plan that addresses the clinical, operational, cultural, and behavioral dimensions of care that every patient and caregiver experiences, in every setting. When suffering decreases, Dempsey argues, outcomes improve for patients and those who care for them. A virtuous cycle takes hold, leading to increases in morale, loyalty, and productivity and results in a culture that drives quality, safety, and value. It paves the path for creating a new national healthcare culture--one that values compassion, fosters efficiency, and drives innovation The Antidote to Suffering is the first book to explore the pervasiveness of suffering in our healthcare system, and to provide the strategies and tools to: * Identify and measure suffering throughout your organization * Create a system in which every clinical response is informed by compassion * Operationalize staff behavior to promote meaning and purpose * Increase productivity by building a culture of collaboration Reducing human suffering isn't just a moral imperative for healthcare providers. It's a practical way to improve organizations and fix our broken system--without sacrificing the respect, dignity, and compassion we all deserve.
From the Back Cover This work is a gift of learning and awakening to all health professionals, informing, affirming, and inspiring our understanding of and sensitivity to suffering from the inside out and outside in. It also offers an effective practice model of Compassionate Connected Care(TM), which aligns compassionate care with safety, quality, and deep personal experiences. A must for all health practitioners!-- Jean Watson , PhD, RN, AHN-BC, FAAN , Founder and Director, Watson Caring Science Institute, and Distinguished Professor and Dean Emerita, University of Colorado Denver What begins as a painful reminder of the challenges facing patients and caregivers today unfolds with a framework for addressing these issues and a vision of a care model that delivers compassionate connected care reliably and efficiently. This model relies on caregivers, teams, and institutions to deliver excellence in clinical outcomes and operational efficiency, through the intentional focus on reducing patient suffering, addressing caregiver burnout, and advancing team diversity and organizational culture.-- Jessica C. Dudley , MD , Chief Medical Officer, Brigham and Women's Physicians Organization, and VP of Care Redesign, Brigham Health In The Antidote to Suffering , Christina Dempsey tells the story of nursing in today's healthcare reality. This book is a must-read for nursing students, new graduates, and seasoned nurses, as well as other providers. It reminds us of our humanity, commitment and most of all, the power of caring for others and how compassion can help transcend boundaries and barriers. -- Karen S. Hill, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE, FAAN , Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Nursing Administration ; and COO and CNO, Baptist Health Lexington Healthcare is challenged on so many fronts for both patients and those privileged to participate in their care. This deeply personal work weaves stories with powerful analysis, providing us with a prescription to ease suffering for us all. Compassionate, connected care reminds us of our sacred mission and offers practical guidance to enable us to fulfill our promise.-- Michael Bennick, MD, MA, AGAF, FACP , Associate Chief of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, and Medical Director of the Patient Experience, Yale-New Haven Hospital In this deeply moving account of her family's journey through the healthcare system, Dempsey has put a face on the very real suffering of patients and caregivers. The Compassionate Connected Care framework offers actionable strategies for everyone, from individuals to organizations to address and reduce the hardships involved with this very real issue.-- Lee Woodruff , Cofounder, Bob Woodruff Foundation Christy compassionately tells the story of suffering by weaving her passion, knowledge, experience, and data into proven solutions for improvement. She exposes suffering in patients and professionals to better enable team effectiveness and professional joy. This book is new required reading for our teams. Compassion is the right way to turn difficulties into opportunities. -- Sharon Pappas, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN , Chief Nurse Executive, Emory Healthcare This engaging, readable, practical, and highly personal book provides a valuable framework for concentrating our efforts to improve healthcare by reducing patient suffering. By doing so, it not only speaks to the best traditions of medicine and nursing--it offers a road map to better care.-- Ira Nash, MD , Senior Vice President and Executive Director, Northwell Health The Antidote to Suffering provides a compelling case to support the crucial importance of improving experiences for everyone who is involved in the sacred work of delivering care. Dempsey weaves in moving stories from personal experience to crystalize the importance of reconnecting to the authentic spirit of caring, while offering pragmatic suggestions for effective change management. Healthcare leaders and care providers across all levels will definitely benefit from this poignant book.-- Laura Cooley, PhD , Senior Director of Education and Outreach, Academy of Communication in Healthcare Required reading for anyone who cares about quality, safety, and the overall experience in our healthcare system. Fascinating perspective that reframes the conversation and opens a new path to improvements in care delivery for patients, families and the healthcare workforce.-- Susan M. Reese, DNP, MBA, RN, CPHIMS , Chief Nurse Executive and Director of Healthcare Practice, Kronos Incorporated
Christy Dempsey takes the idea of 'compassionate, connected care' from rhetoric to reality, with thoughtful analyses, revealing vignettes, and practical suggestions for how all clinicians-- doctors, nurses, and others--can pursue this noble goal.-- Larry H. Hollier Jr., MD , Associate Surgeon-in-Chief for Clinical Affairs, Department of Surgery, Texas Children's Hospital Christy Dempsey has masterfully blended compelling personal stories, meaningful front line experience, and actionable solutions in addressing patient and caregiver suffering in The Antidote to Suffering . She effectively supports her arguments for Compassionate Connected Care with a wealth of survey information and related insights. I appreciate the way she explicitly and forcefully takes on the need to recognize, discuss, and address suffering. This should be on the top of the reading list for nurses, physicians, and administrators who are looking to make a difference in their institutions regarding patient and caregiver experience.-- Richard Siegrist , Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Co-Director of Health Care Management Program, and Lecturer of Health Care Management, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health If you've ever been a patient in a hospital, or had a family member sick or in pain, you will instantly recognize what Christy Dempsey is talking about in The Antidote to Suffering . The care you receive may be the best, but the experience is often fraught with pain, confusion, anxiety, and loneliness. As Ms. Dempsey points out, these are not minor inconveniences. They actually add to the suffering that we may already be experiencing as a result of sickness or injury. And suffering is not limited to patients--it extends to caregivers who are often asked to work multiple long shifts, under stressful conditions, with little support. One of the unique aspects of The Antidote to Suffering is that it is both a practical book as well as an inspirational one. Based on her own broad experience in healthcare as a caregiver and as a patient, and backed up by research, Ms. Dempsey presents a persuasive argument that healthcare can be improved for both patient and caregiver in very specific ways, which she calls Compassionate Connected Care. Designed for people who take care of people, the book goes beyond the usual definitions of what constitutes good care, patient satisfaction, and caregiver engagement. She pushes the reader to think more deeply about these issues and to envision a better way of providing care--and then dives below the surface of this vision to describe very specifically the actions that can be taken to achieve these improvements. Clearly written and full of details that bring the author's experiences and ideas alive, The Antidote to Suffering is a thought-provoking, timely, and insightful addition to the debates going on in healthcare today.-- Susan L Madden, MS , Associate Director, Case-Based Teaching and Learning InitiativeInstructor, Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health; and author of The Preemie Parents' Companion This book is a wonderful testimonial of how patients and caregivers view the patient experience, especially at the critical point where caregivers intersect with patients. -- Kelly Hancock, DNP, RN, NE-BC , Chief Nursing Officer, Cleveland Clinic Seldom do we have the opportunity to learn from a nursing leader through their personal and professional experience. Christy Dempsey has provided the readers of this book with that opportunity. She shares from her own heart and mind the struggles of suffering experienced and observed and the ways to use our learnings to impact care and leadership. This is a wonderful contribution to the reflective learning for nurses in a multitude of roles. -- Marilyn Dubree, MSN, RN, NE-BC , Executive Chief Nursing Officer, Vanderbilt University Medical Center