The Healing Power of Kindness

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As many of us were growing up in early childhood, the word “kindness” was surely repeated multiple times a day. Simple quotes like “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” and “Kind words do not cost much; yet, they accomplish much.” were undoubtedly spoken by those hoping to instill this characteristic during our upbringing. Now, that same notion of kindness, which we learned many years ago, is being included in the healthcare system to improve patient care on many levels.

Stanford University CCARE’s Founder and Director, Dr. James Doty states, “In every domain of life and especially in healthcare where fundamentally we are focused on those suffering, kindness and compassion have a profound positive effect”. Dr. Doty’s research team has found that kinder care has lead to improved health outcomes in the following: faster healing of wounds, reduced pain, reduced anxiety, reduced blood pressure, and shorter hospital stays. The effective trio of human kindness, science, and technology will ultimately reduce costs for hospitals, Dr. Doty believes.

Now knowing the effects of kindness, what are some steps that you can take to implement these characteristics in your OR? Once implemented, be sure to monitor any types of changes in the health outcomes that were mentioned above. Recognizing the value of kindness should enhance a patient’s experience with your OR and ultimately affect his/her surgical outcomes. Fully adopting kindness characteristics may seem minuscule in the grand scheme of operations, yet the scientific literature is beginning to prove otherwise, as there is statistically significant information in regards to your patients outcomes and the OR’s bottom line.