The Power of a Simple Message: Driving Compassion in Healthcare

The Power of a Simple Message: Driving Compassion in Healthcare

 In Digital Media

The majority of healthcare campaigns today have a number of quantifiable, and often very clinical objectives – increase diagnosis, increase survival rates, increase funds for research… However, one UK-based campaign that gained national media attention over the last few months, had a different goal – one involving the relationship between doctor and patient.

“Hello my name is…” was set up by Dr Kate Granger, a hospital consultant suffering from a terminal cancer. When she was told that her cancer had spread, she noticed that the doctor giving her the prognosis had not introduced himself to her. After becoming increasingly frustrated that other members of her healthcare team had also failed to introduce themselves, she set up this campaign with the simple objective of re-establishing that human connection and trust between the physician and their patient.

Improving the doctor-patient relationship is a complex issue, and has become a hot topic among physicians and patients as a result. A campaign that has the objective of improving this relationship has the risk of providing ambiguous or debatable advice to healthcare professionals. However, this campaign has proven to work through its simple and clear strapline “Hello, my name is…” It informs healthcare professionals that simply telling the patient your name is a good place to start building a trusting relationship with them, and as Dr Granger states on her campaign’s website, it is “the first rung on the ladder to providing compassionate care”.

The campaign, which Dr Granger has taken to Twitter with #hellomynameis, has generated national media attention and has gained the support of over 400,000 healthcare professionals and staff, including doctors, nurses, therapists, receptionists and porters from over 90 NHS organisations in the UK. The Scottish government has also commissioned £40,000 to NHS boards to spread the campaign across the country, and NHS trusts are holding discussions on how to improve compassionate care.

While the more traditional healthcare campaigns have metric and clinical outcomes, this campaign acts as a “movement” to shift the current standard of care to a more compassionate one, to “put the human back into healthcare” – using a simple message that can resonate with thousands of healthcare workers nation-wide.