Middletown, NY – The Greater Hudson Valley Health System has become a member of The Schwartz Center and now conducts Schwartz Center Rounds, as part of its commitment to the humanity of health care and employee wellness.
Schwartz Center Rounds 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. In contrast to traditional medical rounds, the focus is on the human dimension of medicine. Caregivers have an opportunity to share their experiences, thoughts and feelings on thought-provoking topics drawn from actual patient cases. The premise is that caregivers are better able to make personal connections with patients and colleagues when they have greater insight into their own responses and feelings.
“This session helped me realize that each team member may have their own personal struggle with difficult conversations and situations,” said Orange Regional’s Medical Intensive Care Unit Nurse Director Nicole Sewell. “Although we each express it differently, a common thread is our dedication not only to deliver medical care but also to deliver empathic care to our patients, their families and to our colleagues.”
A hallmark of the program is interdisciplinary dialogue. Panelists from diverse disciplines participate in the sessions, including physicians, nurses, social workers, psychologists, allied health professionals and chaplains. After listening to a panel’s brief presentation on an identified case or topic, caregivers in the audience are invited to share their own perspectives on the case and broader related issues.
“Hearing my clinical colleagues speak of the emotional challenges they face with their patients provided me insight that I didn’t have before and confirmed my belief that I work alongside deeply caring clinically proficient individuals,” stated Catskill Regional’s Director of Community Services & Patient Advocate Jodi Goodman.
“We initiated the Schwartz Center Rounds program throughout our System because the format allows for a free exchange of ideas, feelings and reactions, reinforcing the humanity of caregivers, patients and families,” said VP, Quality & Health Information Management, Greater Hudson Valley Health System, Rosemary Baczewski.
In order to conduct Schwartz Center Rounds, healthcare institutions must be a member of the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare. Results have shown improved teamwork, interdisciplinary communication and appreciation for the roles and contributions of colleagues from different disciplines. Caregivers also had decreased feelings of stress and isolation, and more openness to giving and receiving support. These results promote enhanced patient care.
For more information on Catskill Regional Medical Center visit www.crmcny.org or for more information on Orange Regional Medical Center visit www.ormc.org
About The Schwartz Center
The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare is the only patient-founded nonprofit dedicated to nurturing patient and caregiver relationships to strengthen the human connection at the heart of care when it’s needed most. Research shows that when caregivers are more compassionate, patients do better and are more satisfied. Caregivers find greater meaning in their work, experiencing less stress and burnout. Together, we’re fighting for compassion’s rightful place in our healthcare system.
The Center reflects the vision of Ken Schwartz, a Boston healthcare attorney who died of lung cancer at the age of 40 and found that what mattered to him most as a patient were the simple acts of kindness from his caregivers, which he said made “the unbearable bearable.” He founded the Schwartz Center in 1995 to ensure that all patients are treated with compassion. The Center is housed at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where Ken received his care.