My 79 posts on EmpathyWorks have covered a range of topics that reflect my interest in the role of relationship-building in health care and the impacts of empathy, compassion and patient engagement on patient experience and health outcomes.Some posts have shared new research findings on the value of clinician empathy or have featured the wisdom of Carl Rogers, Jodi Halpern, Brené Brown, Bernie Lown, Jessie Gruman, and many others who have made empathy, compassion or patient engagement a focus of their professional careers.
Other EmpathyWorks posts have featured the experience of people, like myself, who are coping with the challenges of living with a chronic condition. When I first started blogging, several posts were linked to a column I wrote for MPNforum, an online magazine for people, or loved ones of people, with myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs).
My heart goes out to my fellow "MPNers", who regularly demonstrate empathy and compassion for others in their posts on support sites on Facebook, such as Polycythemia Supportive Friends, and MPN Foum.Since I have started blogging, I have found many inspiring and helpful blogs, websites and social media sites that address the topics of empathy, compassion and patient engagement. Links to these sites are available in the right column of the EmpathyWorks blog page. I particularly recommend Edwin Rutsch's Culture of Empathy website, a treasure trove of links, resources and commentary on empathy and its application to a wide range of topics, from health care to education to international relations.
You will also find links to organizations that focus on training clinicians in patient-centered communication skills, such as the American Academy on Communication in Healthcare (AACH) and the Institute for Healthcare Communication (IHC). IHC and AACH have played critical roles in my personal and professional development as an educator and advocate for patient-centered communication training.Other organizations, such as Center for Advancing Health and the Institute for Patient and Family-Centered Care offer approaches and resources for advancing patient and family engagement at all levels of health care, from patient involvement in self-care and self-management to patient and family engagement in health care policy and health system redesign.
I hope you will continue to visit EmpathyWorks and that you will also share your reactions, insights and resources.