How to measure the success of your efforts to humanize the healthcare experience from both an organizational and patient perspective

While functional or objective measures are great for measuring clinical outcomes, other measures better track the “human” element of service delivery. I’ve found success with one called the CARE Measure – or Consultation and Relational Empathy Measure. This tool asks patients 10 or 11 questions, rating their interactions with practitioners on a scale of poor to excellent (0-5).️It helps organizations get an idea of how their initiatives on humanizing healthcare are being viewed by the patients receiving care at those facilities or organizations.

Questions touch on how at ease patients felt during an encounter, whether they were able to share their story, if they felt listened to, etc. The beauty of this measure is that it is validated and has benchmarks for general practitioners, specialty physicians, nurses & allied health professionals. You can take a baseline measurement from your first set of patients then track improvements over time.️

This way you get insights globally as an organization but also individually per clinician & patient! Sure, functional outcome measures are crucial for specific diagnoses but don’t forget those soft skills too thats where relational empathy scales come into play!


Measuring the Success of Humanizing Health Care

In recent years, health care organizations have been putting significant efforts into humanizing health care. But how do we measure the success of these endeavors? How do we know if our efforts are truly making a difference in both the organization and for patients? The key may lie in using a relational empathy scale.


The CARE Measure

A tool that I’ve found useful is known as the CARE Measure (Consultation and Relational Empathy). This simple yet effective measure consists of around 10 to 11 questions which ask patients to rate their experience on a scale from poor to excellent. The questions range from “Did your practitioner make you feel at ease?” to “Were they genuinely friendly?” Essentially, it assesses whether practitioners listened, were interested in their patient as an individual, tried to fully understand concerns and maintained positivity throughout consultations.

Developed in the UK but now used globally, one major advantage of this measure is its national benchmarks across general practitioners, specialty physicians, nurses and allied health professionals such as physical therapists or speech-language pathologists. These benchmarks allow us to compare our performance with industry standards easily.


Benefits Of Using A Baseline Measurement

The idea behind using such a measurement is simple: take a baseline score from your first set of patients – say for example 100 then track changes over time. This allows you not only observe improvements at an organizational level but also drill down into each clinician’s individual performance. Equally important is that each survey provides feedback directly reflecting individual patient perspectives.


Focusing On Non-Objective Measures In Healthcare

We often emphasize functional outcome measures within healthcare settings especially within my own field of physiotherapy; assessing things like shoulder lifts or hip exercises can be invaluable indicators for understanding how well we’re treating specific diagnoses or conditions. However focusing solely on these ‘objective’ measures neglects what some refer to as ‘the soft skills’ inherent within healthcare delivery; these might include attributes like patience, empathy or good communication skills which whilst harder to quantify are no less critical in providing high-quality patient-centered care.

This is where tools like relational empathy scales come into play – offering us valuable insights into areas otherwise overlooked by conventional measurements thus helping create more holistic healthcare experiences for all involved parties. So if you find yourself asking how successful has our drive towards humanizing healthcare been? consider employing something similar within your practice today!


What other methods have you found helpful in gauging the “human” side of healthcare?


For more content like this, check out our Insights Page and check out The Better Outcomes Show. Or if you want to humanize healthcare through your business or organization, learn how Rehab U Practice Solutions can help here! You can also schedule a call with Rafi to discuss your company’s positioning strategy and brainstorm a business development plan here. Check out Rafi’s latest book, Better Outcomes: A Guide to Humanizing Healthcare, on Amazon!

Rafael E. Salazar II, MHS, OTR/L (Rafi) is the Principal Owner of Rehab U Practice Solutions and the host of The Better Outcomes Show and the author of Better Outcomes: A Guide to Humanizing Healthcare. His career trajectory includes 12+ years of experience in healthcare management, clinical operations, programmatic development, marketing & business development. He even spent some time as an Assistant Professor in a Graduate Program of Occupational Therapy and has served on numerous boards and regulatory committees. He has worked on projects ranging from patient engagement initiatives to marketing communication campaigns to a multi million dollar project assisting the State of Georgia's Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities transition individuals out of state institutions to community residences. His work on Telehealth has been discussed in Forbes.

Today, Rafi helps innovative healthcare companies like technology startups, platforms, SaaS companies & innovative healthcare organizations develop effective positioning strategy and business development plans through his consulting work. He also leverages his experience as a professor and academic to speak and train on the topics around humanizing the healthcare experience & healthcare innovation. In addition, Rafi also owns and operates ProActive Rehabilitation & Wellness, a multidisciplinary outpatient clinic treating patients with musculoskeletal pain.

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Medical Professionals RafiIf you are an innovative healthcare company looking to humanize healthcare through direct service delivery, technology, a device, or software, then reach out. We'd love to talk with you about how Rehab U Practice Solutions can help.

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