Novemeber 2015     Issue No. 4
Patient-Centered Care News
We hope that you find this monthly e-newsletter informative. We have included a downloadable PDF version created for readers who prefer that format.

Below are short summaries of each item that has been selected, and links to the entire pieces.

Please feel free to send any questions or comments to

Rev. Eric J. Hall
President & CEO
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, Inc.
Patient Satisfaction

Applying a One-Size-Fits All Approach to Patient Satisfaction is a Sure-Fire Way to Fail, Experts Say (HealthLeaders Media)

Where a patient receives care in a hospital has a lot to do with what types of care the patient values most.

In inpatient settings, for instance, patients value nursing care the most. In the emergency department, overall personal safety and continuity of care are most important. For pediatric care, factors affecting patient satisfaction vary a lot depending on which department patients are in, according to a study published this month in the American Journal of Medical Quality.

The Complex Role of Physician-Patient Empathy

Examining Empathy (The Lancet)

Empathy has become a hackneyed term in medicine. It's generally understood that a physician's ability to sense and understand the feelings, thoughts, and experiences of patients is valuable in clinical encounters, but questions remain. Is it always beneficial for doctors to feel and display empathy? What happens when doctors and patients have different expectations about how and when empathy is expressed? Can empathy really be taught and learned in medical schools? Such questions will never yield to quick and easy answers.

Telehealth: Patient Care Via Smartphone (

Telehealth - using electronic information and telecommunications to support long-distance healthcare - was once primarily used by people in remote areas who might have to travel for hours to see a doctor.

But today, anybody with a smartphone can video chat with a medical professional about postpartum depression, a bout of rosacea or what's causing that sudden weight gain.

According to a study released in 2013 by market research firm IMS Research, some 1.3 million people in the U.S. will use some form of telehealth by 2017 - up from the 227,000 people who tried it in 2012.
Latest Telehealth Developments on Capitol Hill (HealthCare Chaplaincy Network)

With more health care providers adopting telehealth tools to treat patients and HealthCare Chaplaincy Network's development of two telehealth products that are the first of their kind - Spiritual Care Connect and Palliative Connect , we follow closely potential or pending legislation that will advance telehealth. This includes HCCN's participation as an Advisory Board member of the Alliance for Connected Care.

Recently the Alliance held a conference call to discuss Senate legislation being drafted by a bipartisan group including Senators Schatz (D-HI), Wicker (R-MS), Cochran (R-MS), Thune (R-SD), Warner (D-VA) and Cardin (D-MD). The legislation would establish a transitional payment for current telehealth reimbursement, explore areas to expand telehealth within hospital systems, establishes a new telehealth benefit for dialysis performed in the home and requires Medicare Advantage plans to incorporate telehealth as part of the basic Medicare Advantage benefits package.

Future issues of this e-newsletter will keep you apprised of this and other legislative developments relevant to patient-centered care.

The IDC-10 Billing Codes and Reimbursement for Spiritual Care (

Recently there has been much discussion and speculation among chaplains about the advent of ICD-10 and the fact that it contains billing codes for some spiritual interventions that chaplains do. Experts George Handzo, Lerrill White, and Sue Wintz, in this timely article, clear up misunderstandings and identify work to be done.

Now Online to Read

The new Fall 2015/Winter 2016 issue of HCCN's Caring for the Human Spirit® magazine.

In This Issue:
  • Special Section on Pediatrics
  • Let's Seat "Chief Spiritual Officers" at Decision-Making Tables
  • Disaster Chaplaincy in a World on Fire
  • The Goals of Medicine: Health or Joy? And Lessons Along The Way
  • A Snapshot of Chaplaincy Standards
  • The Chaplain Goes Virtual
  • And More....
Plus this online bonus: a video interview with Rev. Paul Nash, senior chaplain, Birmingham Children's Hospital, U.K., co-author of "Interpretive Spiritual Encounters Offer Children Space to Explore Spiritual Needs." 
Holiday Gift Ideas

Cards by Anne: These hand-designed cards carry "messages that speak to the heart." Artist Anne Kertz Kernion uses calligraphy, water color and/or ink to create the beautiful artwork and philosophical sayings. Available for all types of occasions, the cards are printed on 100 percent recycled paper.

Chaplain Stoles: Unique and handmade, chaplain stoles made by artist Chillon Leach are the perfect item to identify yourself or another as a spiritual care provider at your institution. Inspired by nature imagery, the stoles are suitable for any spiritual and religious denomination. Each is individually designed. This is just one of the hand-painted styles.

About HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™ is a global health care nonprofit organization that offers spiritual care-related information and resources, and professional chaplaincy services in hospitals, other health care settings, and online. Its mission is to advance the integration of spiritual care in health care through clinical practice, research and education in order to improve patient experience and satisfaction and to help people faced with illness, suffering and grief find comfort and meaning--whoever they are, whatever they believe, wherever they are. For more information, visit , call  212-644-1111 , and connect with us on Twitter  and  Facebook .