In 2015, members of the teaching team of the International Institute for Compassionate Care

designed and implemented a 6 module course on Compassionate Care in the biggest private hospital in Cyprus.

The impetus of the aforementioned programme resulted from discussions between IICC leadership and the Hospital management team concerning the potential need and usefulness of enhancing and cultivating important non-clinical aspects of care such as patient-centredness (i.e shared decision making, patient´s preferences, ideas and concerns etc), the therapeutic relationship, advanced communication skills, cultural awareness, empathy, conflict resolution, hospital compassionate culture (developing compassion for one´s self and others, intercultural communication, cultural awareness) and other elements relevant to the delivery of compassionate healthcare.

Several meetings took place between the IICC teaching team and the Hospital´s management team, board of directors, healthcare professionals, HR team in order to design a tailored training programme to the hospital´s specific needs.

The aims and expected benefits for programme participants included the following: introduction of modern models of care i.e shared decision making, increased ability to handle stressful work situations; improved communication skills, more meaningful connections with patients and co-workers; better ability to engage and collaborate with team members; greater job satisfaction, reduced compassion fatigue, and an overall increase in productivity and quality of care. Specific aspects of quality of care were covered such as effective management of patients ideas, concerns and expectations, patient reported outcomes measurements, improvement of the culture of the organization in terms of compassionate care and patients contacts, reduction of medical errors and liability risks, improved collaboration and communication among the management, healthcare professionals, administrative staff, patients and patient´s families.

The IICC team provided interactive workshops, based on the theories of experiential learning, aiming to improve motivation, knowledge and relevant skills of the participants on key compassionate care themes through role plays, motivational videos, group exercises, group discussons and short lectures. Specifically, we aimed to enhance and deepen the qualities of compassion, self awareness, cultural awareness, empathy, kindness, self-reflection, conflict resolution, mindful and effective communication, and compassionate care skills. The programme and each individual module was evaluated both quantitatively and qualitatively. The responses to each module were then merged to provide an overall evaluation for the programme. The description and the results of this educational intervention have been reported in a manuscript which has been submitted for publication. Overall, the programme deemed by the participants to be successful and helpful to sustain the virtue of compassion in a busy hospital setting thus improving the quality of care through cultivation of important humanistic values in healthcare.

Comments from Participants.

Participant 1

A great experience that gave us the chance to touch upon sensitive and burning issues i.e relationships and collaboration between HCPs, cultural awareness, communication skills, empathy etc

Participant 2

Excellent motivator for our HCPs to deliver patient centred care

Participant 3

Experiential learning that will facilitate our efforts for quality improvement and organizational culture changes

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