Compassion & Empathy

Unlocking the Secrets of Compassionate Leadership in Healthcare

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Join Healthcare Experience Foundation President Katie Owens for a special episode of the Healthcare Experience Matters Podcast this week, where she previews the upcoming event, “Certificate in Foundations of Compassionate Leadership,” and offers an in-depth exploration of what it means to become a compassionate leader in today’s healthcare environment.

Our previous event was a resounding success, with over 100 professionals from 21 healthcare organizations coming together to deepen their understanding and practice of compassion in both their personal and professional lives. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and we are thrilled to announce that this program will continue to grow and thrive in 2023.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to become a certified compassionate leader! Mark your calendars for May 11 & 12, 2023, and join us for our highly anticipated fourth cohort of the Certificate in Foundations of Compassionate Leadership. This virtual event will be unlike any other, with two full days of immersive learning and networking from 9am-1pm EST.

Register now to secure your spot and join a community of compassionate leaders committed to making a positive impact on the world. Learn more about this life-changing event by clicking here. We can’t wait to see you there!

About Today’s Podcast

Compassion is crucial to effective healthcare leadership. Compassion creates a positive work environment, fosters trust, and supports staff well-being. However, being a compassionate leader in today’s healthcare environment can be challenging due to various factors.

Self-compassion is at the foundation of compassionate leadership. You simply cannot have one without the other.

Katie defines self-compassion as, “extending the same kindness, compassion and empathy towards ourselves that we would offer to a friend who might be struggling or experiencing a personal shortcoming or disappointment.”

Katie goes on to explain that self-criticism can be ingrained in societal messages that prioritize perfection and fear of failure, which makes practicing self-compassion even more challenging.

As we’ve covered on this podcast before, empathetic distress is also a real issue in today’s healthcare institutions.

Developing and maintaining a strong sense of compassion can be tricky in this modern healthcare environment. It is highly stressful, with long working hours, demanding schedules, and high levels of responsibility. Additionally, healthcare leaders must manage multiple stakeholders, including patients, staff, and administrators, each with unique needs and expectations.

Compassionate leaders create a culture of trust, respect, and collaboration, which promotes open communication and teamwork among staff. This can improve patient safety, quality of care, and patient satisfaction.

Compassionate leadership supports staff well-being by creating a positive work environment which fosters job satisfaction, engagement, and retention. Compassionate leaders show appreciation for their staff’s efforts, provide emotional support, and promote work-life balance. This can help reduce stress and burnout, leading to better staff health and well-being.

Compassionate leaders are empathetic and understanding, listening to the concerns and needs of their staff and patients. They are willing to take risks, try new approaches, and learn from failures, creating a culture of continuous improvement and growth.

As discussed in our podcast previously, psychological safety is also a key component of healthy workplaces and compassionate environments.

Compassionate leadership is crucial to creating a positive work environment and fostering collaboration and trust among staff. It requires a combination of empathy, self-awareness, and strong communication skills to lead with compassion and create positive change in healthcare.

More Compassionate Resources

Moving Forward to Nurture Workforce Resilience in Crisis [pdf]
Certificate in Foundations of Compassionate Leadership Flyer [pdf]

Testimonials from Past Compassionate Leadership Attendees

“I gained the perspective I need to reengage as a leader.”

“The great discussions in breakout rooms made me realize how much desire there is among my colleagues to create compassionate organizations.”

“My big take aways are the tools to improve on things I am already doing as a compassionate leader.”

“So many great ideas to think about compassion as a leader; practical things to do daily for myself and for my team.”

More HX Matters Podcasts

Our podcast is dedicated to transforming the health care experience so that every person can receive and deliver the best care.

You can subscribe to our podcast for free on all major podcast platforms and for video of our interviews, you can always check out the Healthcare Experience Foundation (HXF) on YouTube. Catch up on all episodes of our podcast by subscribing and following us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music and more.

Meet Katie Owens

Katie believes that the way we deliver and receive healthcare matters—not just for the patients, but for the caregivers, the providers, and administration, too.

As President of the Healthcare Experience Foundation, Katie is taking bold steps to assure that every organization has access to resources for engaging patients and developing their workforce to achieve results. Katie is an innovator, implementing new ways to deliver the best in patient-centered care.

She has influenced hundreds of organizations and thousands of leaders to equip their cultures and instill competencies that create environments of person-centered excellence. Her fundamental tenet is that every person is worthy of an environment where they feel confident in receiving and delivering the best possible care. Known as a leader among leaders, Katie previously served on the HealthStream Leadership Team as Vice President of the Engagement Institute. She also served on the Baptist Health Care (BHC) leadership team in Pensacola, Florida, where she supported the system’s sustained journey to excellence. Katie has led teams of expert coaches dedicated to improving the quality of the patient experience and has been instrumental in creating leading-edge learning assets to support patient experience competencies. She is most proud of having grown Baptist Leadership Group to one of the most respected healthcare coaching practices in the country before being acquired by HealthStream in 2013.

Katie is the lead author of The HCAHPS Imperative for Creating Patient-Centered Excellence and is currently writing her second book about the importance of speaking the patient’s language. She is frequently quoted and has been published in the Huffington Post, Healthcare Financial Management Magazine and Hospitals and Health Networks. She is an energetic, internationally-recognized speaker and has presented for many highly-respected organizations, including American College of Healthcare Executives, Beryl Institute, Cleveland Clinic’s Empathy Summit, Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development, and Healthcare Financial Management Association.

Connect with Katie Owens
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