At a conference in 2012, Health Affairs Editor-in Chief Susan Dentzer affirmed, “It is well established now that one can in fact improve the quality of health care and reduce the costs at the same time” (Rickert, 2012). This is the principal concept of “patient centered care”. Health-care providers practicing patient centered care enhance not only patients’ medical outcomes, but increase patient satisfaction rates and improve the quality of the provider-patient relationship. Patient centered care also reduces the use of diagnostic testing, prescription drugs, hospitalizations, and referrals (Rickert, 2012) which is critical in the wake of rising health care costs and reform. By utilizing a different set of skills and behaviors, health-care providers can improve patient relationships, and promote a more holistic approach to quality cost effective patient care. Currently, several hospitals are moving toward this care model. They are known as Healing Hospitals. The Healing Hospital concept promotes healing patients through a comprehensive approach, meeting the patient’s physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. As a nurse, working in a Healing Hospital may possibly influence the philosophy of their caregiving in a positive manner. Working in this type of healing culture may rekindle their passion for nursing by providing loving, compassionate care to patients and families in a therapeutic physical setting. This paper will discuss how the “Radical Loving Care” theory works in a hospital setting, the healing hospitals relationship to spirituality, and challenges when creating this type of environment in the hospital.
What is “Radical Loving Care”?
In 2003 Erie Chapman wrote the book “Radical Loving Care: Building the Healing Hospital in America” (Chapman, 2003) after shaping his ideas over thirty years. “Radical Loving Care” is Chapman’s suggestion of shifting traditional medical care from the task oriented,...