Today’s most esteemed and successful organizations are those who marry technology and process prowess, with a deep understanding and appreciation of the human needs of the populations they serve. In healthcare this means moving from a primary focus on curing to a broader focus on caring. This requires that organizations move beyond solving explicit medical needs, towards solving the holistic needs of patients, beyond their diagnoses.
Caring for patients in a holistic framework not only improves patient healing and satisfaction, but also impacts caregivers wellbeing and productivity, which in turn favorably increases reputation and profitability.
Addressing the medical needs of patients only scratched the surface of addressable human needs. It fails to address the implicit stressors faced by patients along their medical journey. Yet these stressors are crucial to understand, because they are primal barriers to wellbeing and healing. A failure to address them also undermines medical performance. As an example, a cancer patient undergoing treatment who feels stressed by the radiation process will take longer to position on the radiation machine than one who is at ease. This in turn can increase stress on employees, reduce productivity, and impact profitability, if effective resource utilization is not maximized.
Holistic Experience Framework
We look at the patient experience through one-dimensional cognitive lenses, we miss the rich multi-layered factors that make up the human experience of the patient. The holistic experience cannot be comprehended with the brain only. The cancer experience is much more than the head can imagine. And much more than the brain of an external observer can imagine (even augmented by big data). The patient experience is rich, multi-layered and multi-dimensional. It encompasses cognitive and sensory layers that can only be apprehended with a mind, heart and body wide awake.
“We look at the sky through bamboo pipes and believe we see the whole sky.” – Dogen, 13th Century Japanese Philosopher
Experiencing the gap as a cancer patient, I developed a holistic model to help organizations understand the implicit stressors impairing the patient experience. My model teaches new skills to augment teams’ abilities to perceive and enrich the patient experience, and improve wellbeing for patients and caregivers.
The Coherence Model
Uncovering people’s needs is as much an art as a science. While we have plenty of tools to uncover explicit needs (surveys, interviews, field observation, big data) we lack tools and skills to uncover implicit needs. Observing the gap in technology companies I’ve worked with, and as a cancer patient –– being the recipient of this lack of understanding –– prompted me to develop a new model. The Coherence Model has two building blocks: internal coherence and relational coherence. They work hand-in-hand like the yin and yang.
• Internal Coherence is a state where the mind, heart and body work together to expand and deepen our understanding of the human experience, starting with oneself.
• Relational Coherence a state where the mind, heart, and body work together to understand the holistic human experience of another being. Both skills are fundamental to uncover and appreciate the implicit needs of patients and human beings.
Workshops and Consulting
Our interactive workshops are designed to help organizations improve the experience and wellbeing of patients and healthcare teams. We offer three modules that build upon one another.
• Foundation: Learn and practice internal/relational coherence skills to gain a deeper, richer understanding of the human experience, and uncover implicit stressors that impair human wellbeing.
• Team: Building on the foundation training, this module teaches new skills and exercises to improve team coherence, empathy, and wellbeing.
• Patient: Building on the foundation training, this module teaches new skills and exercises to understand the holistic patient experience, and uncover implicit stressors hindering their medical journey.
About the Facilitator
Sylvie Leotin is a writer, consultant, structural thinker, and polymath. An award-winning ballerina and computer scientist, she combines a unique breadth and depth of expertise, with a keen eye for connecting the dots between disciplines, thoughts, people and ideas. She leads workshops and seminars to help organizations improve team coherence, and discover implicit stressors impairing patient success and wellbeing.