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Kimberly Fisher speaks at Arnold P. Gold Foundation event on patient-centered care

UMass Medical School a member of Gold Partners Council, hosts Gold Humanism Honor Society

  Kimberly Fisher, MD

Kimberly Fisher, MD, MSc

The Arnold P. Gold Foundation tapped Kimberly Fisher, MD, MSc, assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine at UMass Medical School, as one of its presenters at the 2018 Planetree International Conference on Person-Centered Care. On Oct. 9, She addressed how better communication can improve patient-centered care in the ICU.

“There is increasing recognition that patients have critical insights into care experiences, including about breakdowns in care,” said Dr. Fisher. “Harnessing patient perspectives for hospital improvement requires an in-depth understanding of the types of breakdowns patients identify and the impact of these events.”

Fisher provided an overview of breakdowns in care, from the perspective of patients and their families to give participants an understanding of common types of breakdowns and how these events impact patients. She shared evidence demonstrating the value of encouraging patients to speak up about breakdowns at the time they occur, along with factors that influence patient comfort in speaking up. She emphasized the benefits of apology in responding to patients who do speak up about breakdowns in care, as well as the key elements of an effective apology.

Fisher’s underlying research, “Medical Errors in Critically Ill Patients: The Perspectives of Surrogate Decision Makers and Attending Critical Care Physicians” was funded with a 2013 Faculty Scholar Award from UMMS. She conducted the study with mentorship from physician-patient communications expert Kathleen Mazor, EdD, professor of medicine in the Division of Geriatric Medicine.

UMass Medical School hosts a chapter of the Gold Foundation’s Gold Humanism Honor Society and is a member of the Gold Partners Council. Member schools commit to advance humanism in medicine and convey to the health care professions and public the importance of “keeping health care human.”

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