The program, created by the Maine Humanities Council and now operating in 17 states, is simple. Groups of people who work at a health care site, usually a hospital, read books related to health care and discuss them under the guidance of a facilitator.But who's got the time?
But the impact is complex. An evaluation of the program in 2006 found that 88 percent of participants said they had had more empathy toward patients. The program also increased communication among hospital staffers; gave participants a better understanding of cultural differences; and countered burnout by giving people a renewed sense of purpose, the evaluation found.