A reminder for health leaders to emphasize relationship-centered care

Guest post by Thomas Dahlborg, chief financial officer and vice president of strategy for NICHQ (National Institute for Children's Health Quality), where he focuses on improving child health and well-being.

In my last post, I mentioned the recent opportunity I had to visit a number of well-respected healthcare organizations and meet with amazing servant leaders who are all striving to bring healthCARING back into the healthcare system.

I shared in that post the insights from a chief nursing officer relative to the importance of empathy in healthcare. Today I would like to highlight another discussion, this time with a brilliant physician and chief experience officer (who I will refer to as Dr. Jane Sloan) at a large healthcare institution with reach and impact both nationally and internationally.

It did not take long for Dr. Sloan and me to realize we shared not only many philosophies and a vision for healthCARING, but also a common language.

Many folks talk of patient experience, patient engagement and patient activation, but Dr. Sloan and I honed in on our shared focus on "relationship-centered care" and the importance of:

  • Each member of the care team developing authentic relationships with their patients and families
  • Healthcare leaders developing care models (healthCARING models) that position the care team, i.e., physicians, nurses, physician assistants, etc., to be whole and healthy themselves
  • Structures, learnings, processes and financial drivers to enhance the relationship between care team and patient and family, rather than to create barriers.

Together we also noted that patient-centered care in and of itself is not enough.

>> Read the full commentary at HospitalImpact