Impact of Empathy on Liability

Angie SzumlinskiNews

It comes as no surprise that a recent study found that “empathy needs to be refreshed” to help both patients and providers. Doctors involved in a recent study were provided with “empathy training” in three 60-minute courses. One physician was quoted as saying “after empathy training, I feel that I like my work again, and instead of resenting all the demands, I’m remembering why I chose this profession in the first place”.

The research team in the Empathy and Relational Science Program found that statistically, significant improvement in patient perception of physician empathy can be measured using the “CARE measure”. This tool recommends using the standard 10-question CARE questionnaire (for children there is a form with pictures and there is also a reduced questionnaire with five questions). The responses to the questions are then put into a spreadsheet and the provider clicks “Compare Your Score” to see the results.

Although the jury is out and more studies will surely be conducted, a reduction in medical professional liability claims may be the result of increased trust, better understanding, and expectations of all possible outcomes, bottom line? Empathy matters! HealthCap has launched “Bedside Manner”, a resource for providers to use with the goal of improved resident satisfaction and better outcomes. You can reach this fun, entertaining, set of learning modules at and share it with your employees! Stay the course, stay well and stay informed!