Reducing Patient Suffering: Celebrating a Year of Work

by Deirdre Mylod | Sep 12, 2014
In late August our Founding Executive Council met as part of its quarterly update and brainstorming session. I am always energized and excited by the conversation and ideas that are shared. We discussed the extension of the suffering framework  to include clinicians and caregivers and what it might mean to more actively work toward spreading empathy, trust…and even hope. This meeting was particularly significant because it represented the first anniversary of the formal work of the Founding Executive Council. It was just last year in August 2013 that the group first came together for discussion, though many of the members had been contributing their thoughts and suggestions that shaped the Institute for Innovation in the months prior.

Looking back on the past year, much has been accomplished. And of course, the work also shows us how much more there still is to do. The Founding Executive Council went through a consensus process in 2013 to identify the four prioritized projects that have become the Institute’s focus. And coming this Fall, the first results from those projects will become publicly available on our website. We look forward to sharing these findings with the industry, and most importantly to hearing feedback and sparking conversation.

I’m inspired by a quote from Thict Naht Hahn, who said “If you have a great aspiration, it’s because you have seen suffering, have awakened to the presence of suffering and want to put an end to it.” Our work is grounded in the premise that patients suffer and that our goals must include treating medical illness within the larger context of holistically reducing patient suffering. The acknowledgement of patients’ wider experiences has inspired our work and led us to lofty aspirations. We’re excited to watch the journey unfold and to have you along with us.