Susan E. Mazer, Ph.D. Blog

Thoughts and ideas on healthcare

Hi, and welcome to my blog! I'm Susan E. Mazer -- a knowledge expert and thought leader on how the environment of care impacts the patient experience. Topics I write about include safety, satisfaction, hospital noise, nursing, care at the bedside, and much more. Subscribe below to get email notices so you won't miss any great content.

The ROI on Human Caring in Healthcare

November 21, 2014

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-kids-play-doctor-girl-boy-image35315863Return on investment (ROI) is what we get for what we pay.  Making “human caring” a commodity may seem crass, but, these days, if we look at supply and demand, human caring in healthcare is in high demand and, relatively low supply.

I say this because we are approaching the time of year that calls upon us to be generous and forgiving, to be grateful and kind. In reality, human caring, which expresses and makes obvious each of these qualities, knows no season.

Introducing The C.A.R.E. Channel to a hospital administrator sometimes generates a request for an ROI document.  We don’t always know how to respond to this, but, we do have an ROI document.

We did the research about financial benefits for hospitals and arrived at a savings of at least $158 per/patient per/day based on a reduction in the need for pharmacological intervention in some patients by as much as 15%-29%.

The cost of The C.A.R.E. Channel per bed per day ranges from a penny to a dime.

The ROI comes in the form of better patient experience, better HCAHPS scores, and higher patient satisfaction.  How do you measure that in numbers?

We do not yet know whether a satisfied patient is healthier or a healthier patient is more easily satisfied.  We do not know why patients answer HCAHPS questions the way they do.

And, we do not know the human cost of dissatisfaction.  We have trends, not absolutes.

Human caring matters.  Dr. Jean Watson and the Watson Caring Science Institute have been tracking patients who have be cared by nurses using Caring Science as their nursing practice model.

The first question of a five-question survey is “Were you treated with loving-kindness?”  We could debate the value of loving kindness over respect, but we do not experience loving kindness without respect — because minus respect, loving kindness is patronizing, unauthentic, insulting.

The ROI for kindness has not been established. In fact, we often speak of kindness as a luxury, taking time that we cannot afford.

Making human caring a commodity is, indeed, crass.   Nonetheless, human caring in healthcare is in high demand and can only be delivered, one heart to another.

If the patient experience is what matters, then we must demonstrate compassion and empathy, concern and respect. We must make the investment in human caring and let the return be its own reward.

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