The Compassion Measures Toolbox: A Guide for Assessing Compassion Across the Healthcare System

Dr. Shane Sinclair

February 2, 2023

An Evidence-based Report and Toolbox on Implementing Compassion Measures at a Patient, Provider, and System Level

The Compassion Research Lab, in partnership with the Task Force for Global Health's Focus Area for Compassion and Ethics (FACE), has authored an evidence-based report on selecting and implementing compassion measures to assess compassion at the patient, healthcare provider, and system/organizational level. The Compassion Measures Toolbox provides an overview of the importance of measuring compassion in healthcare, a summary of available compassion measures, an implementation guide, a matrix of recommended measures, and the Compassion Measure Calculator, a user-friendly interactive tool to quickly select the right compassion measure based on users needs and context.

The Development and Purpose of the Compassion Measures Toolbox

Compassion is a critical component of healthcare, and it is essential that healthcare organizations develop strategies and tools to cultivate a culture of compassion among leaders, staff, and policy makers to enhance the patient experience. While patients want compassionate care and the majority of clinicians desire to provide it—patient wishes and healthcare providers good intentions are not enough—healthcare organizations play a crucial role in measuring, embedding, and improving compassion in healthcare systems. The compassion measures toolbox was developed to provide healthcare organizations with a range of tools to enhance compassion across the healthcare system.

The report and toolbox were developed by an expert panel of subject matter and measurement experts after extensive consultation with researchers, international partners, and diverse stakeholders. It is our hope that this knowledge translation tool will help to mobilize compassion from the lab to the bedside, the boardroom, and beyond--in order to improve compassion across the globe--at all levels of the healthcare system.

What's included and How to Use It?

The toolbox includes a variety of measures to address the diverse aspects of compassion and the complexity of the healthcare system. However, it is important to note that not every measure will be equally effective in all healthcare settings, as different healthcare contexts may require different approaches. Adaptation and preparation are necessary to ensure that each measure is appropriate for the user and the context in which it is being applied—which is why we developed an implementation guide along with other interactive resources.

In short, the toolbox provides guidance to healthcare organizations to identify the most useful measure for their specific needs at a patient, provider, and organizational level. The toolbox also includes the Compassion Measures Calculator, recommended measures, and an annotated bibliography with additional resources for healthcare organizations looking to create the conditions for compassion to flourish. In doing so, healthcare organizations can improve patient outcomes, enhance patient satisfaction, and improve staff wellbeing.

Accessing and Using the Compassion Measures Toolbox

Download a free copy of the report and all the interactive tools within the toolbox by clicking on this link.

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