Quality Improvement with Compassion: Developing Healthcare Improvement Science in the European Health Professions’ Education

  • Manuel Lillo-Crespo
  • M. Cristina Sierras-Davó


Patient-centred care should be the golden thread that runs through all healthcare education and continuing professional development nowadays. However, the values and attitudes supposed to be part of healthcare professions, such as compassion, address an important gap in training today. As compassion is a complex, culturally-based value, the challenge for healthcare educators consists in providing and evaluating compassionate care practice in a global society within contexts with different social and cultural value systems.

Developing an educational culture specific for European health professions that promotes improvement as a core value within the health education programmes and connecting compassion as the baseline was the purpose of the ISTEW Project (Improvement Science Training for European Healthcare Professionals) funded by the European Commission. Its main contributions were a consensus definition of Healthcare Improvement Science (HIS), four accredited HIS educational modules and a HIS Evaluation Framework. Since July 2016 an annual international summer programme named as “Immersion to Healthcare Improvement Science” takes place in the Faculty of Health Sciences at University of Alicante (Spain). This summer course has the potential to introduce students as future professionals in healthcare into improvement science and critical thinking with the scope of compassionate care by using the ISTEW outcomes. All this body of work and knowledge generated aims to improve patient outcomes, health system performance and population health.


Compassion Health care Patient-centred care Training programme Spain 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manuel Lillo-Crespo
    • 1
  • M. Cristina Sierras-Davó
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of AlicanteAlicanteSpain

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