The Critical Role of Spirituality in Patient Experience Explored by The Beryl Institute

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New White Paper published in collaboration with HealthCare Chaplaincy NetworkTM Examines the Value and Impact of Integrating Spiritual Care in Healthcare

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Many hospitals have partnered chaplaincy and patient experience or even put chaplains in charge of patient experience. And yet, spiritual care and chaplaincy care remain seriously underutilized.

A new white paper by The Beryl Institute explores the emerging focus of spiritual care and chaplaincy in patient experience excellence and provides a core set of central themes and concepts for organizations to consider regarding spiritual care. Published in collaboration with HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™, the paper, “The Critical Role of Spirituality in Patient Experience”, engages perspectives and practices of individuals across the spectrum of chaplaincy and spirituality in healthcare as they look to address and engage in this as a critical topic for action.

In addition to identifying key practices on integrating spiritual care into healthcare and the impact the professional healthcare chaplain role has on patient experience excellence, the paper includes voices of practice from eight leading contributors and organizations:

  • David Carl, Carolinas HealthCare System
  • Doug Della Pietra, Rochester General Hospital
  • Trace Haythorn, PhD, MDiv., Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc.
  • Malcolm Marler, D. Min, BCC, UAB Medicine
  • Kevin Massey, MDiv., BCC, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital
  • Christina Puchalski, MD, FACP, FAAHPM, George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health
  • Margo Richardson, M. Ed. MDiv., BCC, Allina Health Unity Hospital
  • Amy Wilson-Stronks, Wilson-Stronks LLC Improving Healthcare

The paper opens with a special introduction from Rev. George Handzo, BCC, CSSBB, Director, Health Services Research and Quality, HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™. Rev. Handzo is widely regarded as one of the foremost authorities on the deployment and practice of professional healthcare chaplaincy and has provided leadership to projects devoted to the strategic assessment, planning and management of chaplaincy services.

“Many hospitals have partnered chaplaincy and patient experience or even put chaplains in charge of patient experience. And yet, spiritual care and chaplaincy care remain seriously underutilized in helping to improve patient experience,” said Rev. Handzo. “Much more work needs to be done on gathering, testing and disseminating best practices in leveraging spiritual care. This collaboration between The Beryl Institute and HealthCare Chaplaincy Network is one effort to bridge that gap.”

To download the white paper, visit


About The Beryl Institute:
The Beryl Institute is the global community of practice dedicated to improving the patient experience through collaboration and shared knowledge. We define patient experience as the sum of all interactions, shaped by an organization’s culture, that influence patient perceptions across the continuum of care.

About HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™:
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™ is a global health care nonprofit organization that offers spiritual-related information and resources, and professional chaplaincy services in hospitals, other health care settings, and online. Its mission is to advance the integration of spiritual care in health care through clinical practice, research and education in order to increase patient satisfaction and help people faced with illness and grief find comfort and meaning—whoever they are, whatever they believe, wherever they are. HCCN has been Caring for the Human Spirit® since 1961.

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Stacy Palmer
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