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Sharp Health News

Mindfulness can help improve patient care

April 4, 2018

Mindfulness can help improve patient care

Chaplain Jodi Varner (left), MA, practices the “kind wishes” meditation with a co-worker. This simple mindfulness practice helps return the mind to the present moment and connect with others in a friendly, nonjudgmental way.

High-reliability organizations, such as Sharp HealthCare, operate under challenging conditions each day, yet report fewer mistakes or accidents than may be expected given those conditions.

Mindfulness is one important aspect in ensuring that the care provided is reliable and consistent for every patient, every time. Chaplain Jodi Varner, MA, interfaith minister at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center has taken that responsibility one step further. She recently became a trained mindfulness facilitator, having completed coursework at the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center.

“Mindfulness complements reliability, as it helps improve individual reliability, connection and presence,” explains Varner. “A highly reliable organization encourages awareness to the moment, to our patients’ needs, and to the bigger picture of safety and well-being. Mindfulness helps to build these skills.”

A mindfulness practice can help individuals develop greater mind-body awareness, reduce stress and perform important tasks with increased attention to detail, all of which help doctors, nurses and employees provide the best level of care.

With this new designation, Chaplain Varner plans to offer mindfulness practices for caregivers at Sharp Chula Vista to further support employees and enhance the patient experience.

Mindfulness has been shown to:

  • Boost the immune system
  • Cultivate well-being and happiness
  • Enhance positive emotions
  • Improve attention and concentration

“We all practice mindfulness whether we consciously name it that or not,” says Varner. “With this designation, I hope to educate others on how we already practice this skill and how we can continue building important muscles, such as attention and compassion, to develop our daily work experience and improve safety.”

High-reliability organizations are dedicated to supporting a culture committed to safety and continuously striving for excellence. Learn more about Sharp HealthCare’s journey to high reliability, and how you can reap the rewards of reliability.

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