BY: SR. PATRICIA A. TALONE, RSM, Ph.D.
We gather together as a health care community, acutely aware of the many challenges we face and desirous to care for each person who comes to us as we would care for Christ himself. We pray for strength and guidance in our efforts to offer both safe and high-quality care to all persons in need. Listen to the words of the Institute of Medicine on this topic.
"American health care is beset by serious problems, but they are not intractable. Perfect care may be a long way off, but much better care is within our grasp. The [Institute of Medicine Quality] committee envisions a system that uses the best knowledge, that is focused intensely on patients, and that works across health care providers and settings. Taking advantage of new information technologies will be an important catalyst to moving us beyond where we are today. The committee believes that achieving such a system is both possible and necessary" (Institute of Medicine, Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century, National Academies Press, 2001, p. 21).
Leader (pause for a moment to allow time to reflect upon the words)
The call to offer "perfect" care often seems impossible. Yet our brother Paul called the church in Corinth to aim for perfection, relying upon the grace given us in Christ. Listen to Paul's words.
"Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you€”unless, of course, you fail the test? And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test. Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong. Not that people will see that we have stood the test but that you will do what is right. . . . Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you" (2 Cor 13: 5-7, 11).
Each of us can look into our own hearts and into our own spheres of influence and recognize those areas where we need strength, healing, enrichment. I invite you now, within our community and before God, to lift up those things for which we together may pray.
(Allow time for people to mention what they think needs quality improvement.)
We bring the needs of the sick, of the American health care system, of our own facility, and, particularly, of our patients into one as we pray together the words that Jesus taught us.
(Recite together the Our Father).
Sr. Patricia Talone, RSM, Ph.D.
Vice President, Mission Services
Catholic Health Association
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