Talking to health care professionals about the importance of loving your patients and colleagues — as I often do — might raise eyebrows.

How can we be expected to love our patients during a 15-minute clinic visit? How can love form among hospital teams coming together for a surgical procedure but then moving on to other work? Perhaps most importantly, how will this love make any difference in our patients’ lives when they need their next medication dose or to be prepared for a procedure?

Yet the more we learn about how love and other emotions work, the more we recognize the immense power of love over the quality of care we deliver and over our efforts to improve that care. We also understand that this form of love is indeed practical and attainable in our hospitals and clinics.
Biomedical and social scientists alike are helping us understand how positive emotions help open ourselves to others, while negative emotions can break the bonds between people and even harm the performance of clinical teams.

This post is from Dr. Peter Pronovost, Senior Vice President for Patient Safety and Quality at Johns Hopkins Medicine and Co-founder of Doctella. This is an excerpt reposted from his blog, Voices for Safer Care. Please visit his website to read the full article.