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Organizational Aspects of Caring

Title: Organizational aspects of caring.

Authors: Scott, Robert A.; Aiken, Linda H.; Mechanic, David;

Citation: The Milbank Quarterly, Spring 1995 v73 n1 p77(19)


Medical care_Social aspects

Medical personnel and patient_Social aspects

Health services administration_Analysis


Author's Abstract: COPYRIGHT Milbank Memorial Fund 1995

Caring is fundamental to competence in medicine. Expressions of humaneness in the relationship between doctor and patient foster bonds of trust, enabling doctors and patients to communicate in ways that enhance diagnosis, treatment, and compliance. To be effective, a caring attitude must be adopted by all persons involved in the delivery of health care. Components of caring can be specified, learned, and incorporated into routine medical practice. Through their impact on stress management and coping, as well as morale and job satisfaction, the organizational and administrative practices surrounding health care encounters decisively impinge on caring. The organizational and financial arrangements for enhancing the humane delivery of health care are examined.

Full Text COPYRIGHT Milbank Memorial Fund 1995

During the twentieth century biomedical knowledge has exploded beyond all expectations, medical technologies have exceeded every prediction, diagnostic accuracy and therapeutic results have improved markedly, and the list of illnesses that respond to modern therapy has grown significantly. Despite these achievements, voices from many quarters suggest that something is fundamentally wrong with the enterprise. In the memorable words of John Knowles, we are "doing better and feeling worse" (Knowles 1977).

Escalating costs, lack of universal health insurance coverage, and similar issues receive...

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