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Man on a Mission – Part 2: Compassionate Care

Man on a Mission – Part 2: Compassionate Care

Aug. 3, 2017, Vol.15, Issue 7

In our last blog, I introduced you to Lee Tomlinson, cancer survivor speaker, and advocate for compassionate care. We covered his journey from thriving executive and adventurer, to thriving cancer survivor and speaker — sharing his story and passion for life, inspiring other cancer survivors. I told you then that this remarkable man deserved a two-part blog. The first was about his diagnosis and how his healing unfolded. And the second starts with his own near suicide and leads to his advocacy for compassionate care throughout healthcare.

Lee Tomlinson:

Compassionate Care

Toward the end of Lee’s brutal battle with Stage 3+ throat cancer, he was rushed to Emergency Room with a life-threatening infection. The “care” he encountered there was shockingly rude, robotic, disrespectful, inattentive, and lacking of even a hint of compassion.

The result? He went from depressed to despairing. He lost his will to live. Gave up. And, made a calculated decision to end his life.

What prevented him from doing so was a deeply compassionate doctor and friend who respectfully heard Lee’s suicidal plans, and after deeply apologizing for what he’d experienced, gently, without judgment, suggested an alternative. His doctor friend suggested that Lee fight to survive and if successful, devote himself to reversing what he described as “the rapidly declining emphasis on kindness and compassion in today’s medicine.”

With a renewed sense of purpose, Lee fought hard to recover, and then plunged wholeheartedly into the problem. Trying to understand why he’d received such inhumane care, Lee dove into the scientific research surrounding the effects of compassion in medicine – and its lack – on patients and medical providers. He also interviewed scores of doctors, nurses, administrators and patients to get their first-hand thoughts on the subject.

What Lee discovered astonished him.

Remarkably, compassionate care has been scientifically proven to generate significantly greater benefits for patients, medical providers, and their hospitals’ bottom lines than merely providing momentary emotional comfort for distressed patients. These benefits include the following:

  • Patients treated in a compassionate environment recover more quickly, experience less pain, have improved outcomes, suffer less anxiety/depression, are more compliant, leave the hospital sooner, and enjoy longer-term health.
  • Hospitals providing consistently compassionate environments are generally more profitable, benefitting from a more supportive, collaborative workplace. They also enjoy greater patient loyalty, more positive word-of-mouth advertising, increased employee productivity, reduced turnover, fewer medical errors, and fewer lawsuits.
  • Furthermore, medical professionals working in such an environment experience better physical and mental health, increased job satisfaction, more resiliency, and less burn-out, depression, and drug abuse – and, incidentally, fewer suicides.

All as the result of consistently treating patients, each other – and themselves – with compassion. Or as it is called in non-medical businesses, providing “exceptional internal and external customer service.”

With these startling findings, Lee and his colleagues created “The C.A.R.E. Effect” to re-establish the importance of compassion in today’s medicine.

The C.A.R.E. Effect reveals what patients really want and need in addition to excellent medical treatment. It offers – from a patient’s perspective a clear definition of compassion that is easily understood, remembered, measurable, and actionable, and it provides a blueprint of what compassion looks and feels like, as well as specific actions that best deliver it.

Lee and his colleagues also provide a proactive call to action in “The C.A.R.E. Effect Challenge.” This “Challenge” dares medical professionals to commit, in writing, to provide just one more simple, tiny, random act of kindness a day – every day for one month. And it provides them with multiple short, entertaining audio clips to inspire them to deliver on their promise.

Why? Given the immense challenges facing hospitals, patients, medical providers, and the world these days – compassion might be the only medicine guaranteed to heal them all.

Lee’s mission is to inspire, motivate, and challenge every individual in healthcare to give nothing less than their most compassionate care for the immense benefit, not only of their patients, colleagues, and the hospital’s bottom line, but also for themselves. Embracing the principle of compassionate care also ensures that each individual gives themselves the compassion required in order to avoid burnout, which leads to the consequent inability to express their innate compassion to others.

To get a taste of the compassionate intensity and the energy – not to mention the joy and laughter – that he transmits to his audiences, click here  and watch this video. It’s a sampling of some of his presentations, full of surprises and wisdom. If you book him for an event, your audience will laugh and learn with him, and they will walk out inspired to give their best in a new way. If you work in a hospital setting, your entire hospital will gain the benefits – in patient outcomes as well as in profits. You can’t go wrong with this man.

To learn more about bringing Lee’s extraordinary programs to your community, give me a call at 503-699-5031 or email barbara@speakwellbeing.com.

Until next time, take care of yourself for your well being and those you love.

Yours truly,
Barbara

For Your Well Being is published bi-weekly. We bring you insider speaker reports, exclusive stories about special events around the country, meeting planner tips, and fun stuff from the worlds of health and well being. Be well and be in the know!

The Speak Well Being Group is a specialized speakers bureau, focusing on speakers for hospital-sponsored community events, healthcare organizations, nurses, conferences and women’s groups. Our speakers are hand-selected. They are not only experts in their fields, they connect with their audiences while bringing them life-changing information, smiles of recognition and ultimately a sense of well being and hope.

Finding the perfect keynote speaker for your special event or conference is my personal passion, not just once, but year after year. It brings me great joy to know that your audience was delighted and moved by the speaker we selected together. I’m committed to making the process easy, pleasant and fun.

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