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Marin General Hospital Cancer Facility Participates in Recent Study Exploring the Impact of "High-Emotion" Care for Patients


GREENBRAE, CA — Marin Cancer Care, co-manager of the Cancer Institute at Marin General Hospital, was one of 10 health care institutions across the country included in a recent study published by the Harvard Business Review. The article described the impact of high-emotion services in cancer care delivery, and explored non-clinical practices positively influencing the quality and effect of patient care.

Researched by Dr. Leonard Berry, PhD, professor at Mays Business School at Texas A&M University and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the study selected cancer centers known for their clinical quality and high-emotion services, which address the compassionate and sensitive delivery of diagnosis and treatment. More than 350 cancer patients, families, doctors, nurses, medical staff and health care leaders were interviewed for the study.

"A cancer diagnosis is life-changing for the patient and the family. It requires the best from health care providers, not only in the clinical treatments, but in a variety of other services that support patients and families in a time of emotional distress,” said Dr. Berry. “Great service begins with truly understanding what matters most to those being served. I was impressed with the effort Marin Cancer Care makes to serve patients with understanding and compassion."

Dr. Berry spent three days interviewing patients, families, staff and doctors at Marin Cancer Care, in addition to sitting in on visits to observe the high-emotion services of the facility.

“We are honored to be included in this research that recognizes the powerful effect of compassion in the delivery of clinical services,” said Dr. Peter Eisenberg, medical oncologist. “What characterizes our program is that we spend a lot of time getting to know our patients and their families so we can serve them and not just give them medicine. Cancer care diagnosis and treatment doesn’t just happen to the patients, it’s happening to their entire family and we need to keep that in mind.”

The first article from the Dr. Berry’s study, “When the Customer is Stressed,” appeared in the October 2015 issue of the Harvard Business Review. Dr. Berry presented some of his recent findings at a free public event on Oct. 22 at Marin General.

 “We have an excellent staff who answer phones through their lunch hours and know each of our patients by name,” said Dr. Eisenberg. “What providers can learn from this study is that they have to meet patients where they are, both clinically and emotionally, in order to help them in the best way.”

The Cancer Institute at Marin General Hospital is renowned for offering cancer patients advanced technology and therapies. Survival rates for patients treated with common cancers consistently surpass national and regional averages.

In addition to treating patients with the latest advanced treatments and technology, the Cancer Institute integrates holistic complementary care and support services through the Hospital’s Center for Integrative Health and Wellness into treatment plans as a way to heal the patient’s body, mind, and soul.
 

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