The Arnold P. Gold Foundation, the not-for-profit organization that developed the White Coat Ceremony, announced a partnership Wednesday with several healthcare companies to collaborate on efforts that support and improve humanism in healthcare.
The Gold Corporate Council brings together five companies; IBM Watson Health, Medtronic, BD, Henry Schein, and Quest Diagnostics to work along with the Gold Foundation on ways to ensure care is compassionate to patients and their needs.
"It is so easy now with (the widespread use of technology in healthcare) to forget that all endeavors are human endeavors," said Dr. Richard Levin, president and CEO of the Gold Foundation.
The widespread prevalence of physician burnout has also caused clinicians to lose their personal, compassionate relationship with patients. "That seems to be the straw that broke this wide open," Levin said.
Research shows that positive relationships patients have with their providers is associated with better clinical outcomes and lower costs.
As part of the council, the companies have committed to adopt programs at the Gold Foundation intended to improve patient relationships with healthcare professionals.
For example, Quest Diagnostics will adopt the Tell Me More program, which encourages caregivers to strengthen their bond with patients by taking extra time with them to ask personal questions.
As a laboratory services company, Quest Diagnostics is still working on ways that it will adopt the program in its own way, said Laure Park, vice president of customer experience.
The council will also consider ways to expand the White Coat Ceremony to other healthcare professionals beyond medical and nursing students, Park said.
"There are so many other areas of healthcare where the ceremony would have value," she said.