What matters most during an illness is the human connection between patients and their caregivers.

The rule books, I'm sure, frown on such intimate engagement between the caregiver and patient. But Maybe it's time to rewrite them. - Ken Schwartz

When a friend, family member or loved one goes through any illness there is a microscopic lens that highlights what matters most during these difficult times. It is the relationship between the patient and the healthcare professional.

During the harper research process, the Schwartz Center for compassionate care kept coming up. We were enticed from the beginning, this makes so much sense! Why doesn't everyone know about it? In reading and digging in further, there is a movement happening in healthcare. Like software technology, fin tech, block chain, and bitcoin, so many industries are changing and transforming. The time is now for the healthcare industry to get on board. Innovation must be present in the way healthcare professionals continue to work with patients. Right now there is a huge gap, one that we are on a mission to improve. The rule books need to change.

As a child that had a parent go through cancer, I can personally tell you that the most frustrating times are the times that everything feels so out of control. Many times information is presented to you in a way that makes your head spin. What are they saying? What does it mean? What does this test mean? Do I want to go through surgery, what are the pros/cons? Am I making the right decision? These are just a few of the many questions people are faced in these times. I don't think it should feel this way. Today, we have access to information we never had, we also have access to be connected to our friends and family, where ever they are in the world. Important information can be shared, and the patient has the right to share their information with whom ever they chose.

A good relationship is built on a few key pieces in any situation, the doctor and the patient is an important one.

  1. Trust
  2. Transparency
  3. Compassion
  4. Education
  5. Patience

For all the healthcare professionals out there,

"Focus on your patients. On who they are what they care about, its really why you went into medicine." - Dr. Paul Kalanithi

After years of being in medicine, I'd imagine it could feel like humans being become more of numbers just passing by in the operating rooms, doctors offices, check ups etc. The hard reality, is as a healthcare professional you don't ever get to feel like this. That human passing through, coming into your office, dealing with some health issue, is someone's family member, and you never get to treat them in a way that is other than compassionate (I'm not saying people do, I'm just saying its not even an option). The people in the world who care, are leading with empathy, times are changing, and its time to be a great healthcare member and lead this way with ALL your patients. Many people do, which is why the Schwartz Center exists, lets just make sure the compassion and love spreads so we keep hearing more of the goodness and less of the not so good.


See information below on the Schwartz Rounds® program benefits for providers:

The Schwartz Rounds® program, now taking place in more than 430 healthcare organizations throughout the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and more than 150 sites throughout the U.K. and Ireland, offers healthcare providers a regularly scheduled time during their fast-paced work lives to openly and honestly discuss the social and emotional issues they face in caring for patients and families.