International Society of Humanistic Medicine
With the growing dependency on technology and the unparallel increase in the intensity of hectic work schedules, diverse responsibilities, administrative bureaucracy, and never-ending paperwork, we see a health system that has disabled the practice of humanistic medicine. The healthcare force has restricted itself to the treatment of mere signs and symptoms of the disease as opposed to a holistic treatment of the patients’ physical, emotional, spiritual ailments, steeped in professionalism that is also empathetic, compassionate, and maintains open communication to also facilitate the involvement of the patient in their clinical decision-making. The lack of these has led to poor healthcare delivery, a decreasing patient satisfaction quotient, severed patient-physician ties, and an increasing physician burn-out. A vicious cycle where one factor feeds the other has been propagated, leading to poor delivery of healthcare services.
The absence of a humanistic medical practice has triggered the decline of healthcare in the already weak health infrastructure of a lower-middle-income country like Pakistan that is combating the triple burden of diseases alongside a debilitating lack of awareness around health and hygiene.
Recognizing the fact that healthcare delivery is a team effort that demands an interdisciplinary approach, the need is for an organizational intervention promoting humanistic medicine. Studies reinforce that a change in the organizational level is as important as at the micro level. Hence, a prototype of a humanistic administrative model has been developed by the International Society of Humanistic Medicine (ISHM) and is being implemented at Amana Diagnostic, Medical, and Research Centre, a project of Amana Hasnain Health Foundation.
ISHM is a virtual international community of healthcare professionals, health policymakers, humanists, public health experts, and all professionals associated with the practice and delivery of medical care, aiming to initiate impactful global dialogue to recognize the ways in which the global health systems and policies can be made humanistic and inclusive, and to design and implement human-centered solutions, including suggestions for policy changes, to address their absence at an organizational level.
The developed model focuses on research-endorsed strategies to promote a humanistic culture in any organization, comprising of a facilitative practice structure, organized activities, responsibility to role model, and supportive leadership.
You can read more about ISHM here.
Healthcare at the Crossroads: The Need to Shape an Organizational Culture of Humanistic Teaching and Practice