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Compassionomics: The Financial Benefits of Compassion in Healthcare in Correctional Facilities

Unlocking the power of compassion in correctional healthcare can revolutionize inmate health and well-being. A growing field of research on ‘compassionomics’ indicates that this empathetic approach not only boosts patient outcomes but also sets facilities up for success. Read on for a deeper understanding of how compassion can contribute to the well-being of staff and patients, as well as streamline facility costs.

What is 'Compassionomics'?

The root of the term "compassion" is defined as the "emotional reaction to the pain or suffering of another, accompanied by a genuine desire to offer assistance.” Taking it a step further, compassionomics is a field of study that examines the impact of compassionate healthcare.

There is ongoing discussion regarding whether compassion is simply a moral obligation based on the practice of medicine, or if it can be considered an evidence-based intervention with measurable positive outcomes within the field of healthcare. However, it has been found that action-oriented compassionate healthcare can bring improvement in three main areas:

  • Improving clinical outcomes for patients
  • Supporting the financial stability of healthcare systems
  • Promoting well-being and reducing burnout of healthcare providers (HCP)

What Does Compassionate Correctional Care Look Like?

Compassionate care should be a priority in all correctional healthcare systems as it can lead to improved outcomes for both individuals and society. This kind of care hinges on treating inmates with respect and acknowledging their humanity. This can look like:

  • providing inmates with access to quality mental health and physical health services
  • making sure patients have adequate nutrition and exercise
  • creating an environment that encourages rehabilitation. 

Compassionate care is also important when it comes to providing inmates with sufficient access to medications, treatments, and other medical services. It is essential that prisoners receive appropriate medical attention and medication, regardless of their financial situation or other factors. Inmates should have access to the same quality healthcare as anyone else in the general population. This means having adequate staff available to answer questions, provide treatments, and provide emotional support.

Benefits of Compassionate Correctional Care

Recently conducted research suggests that medical costs decrease and patient outcomes improve when doctors prioritize making human connections and showing compassion.

Compassionate care has been shown to reduce recidivism, as well as improve physical and mental health outcomes. Inmates that receive compassionate care tend to be less likely to develop depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. Additionally, compassionate care can help inmates build healthier relationships with their caretakers as well as fellow inmates. Inmates who receive compassionate care are also more likely to have successful reentry into society.

More specific benefits of incorporating compassionate, patient-centered care can look like:

  • Improved quality of care: Physicians who are more compassionate towards their patients tend to provide more comprehensive care. Additionally, they are less likely to make significant medical errors.

  • Reduced unnecessary testing and referrals: When physicians communicate effectively with their patients, they can better understand their needs and concerns. This can result in a reduction in unnecessary diagnostic testing and referrals, ultimately saving time for both patients and healthcare providers.

  • Improved patient adherence: Patients who receive compassionate care are more likely to follow their medication regimen, leading to better management of symptoms and improved patient outcomes.

  • Reduced staff turnover: When staff members receive appropriate compensation and benefits, they are more likely to remain at the institution. This can reduce turnover and onboarding costs, ultimately leading to a more stable workforce and better patient care.

Overall, when doctors exhibit compassion, it leads to better outcomes for patients and reduces the likelihood of burnout for doctors. 

RHS: Compassion as Our Superpower

At Roadrunner Health Services, we believe that each patient is a human being who deserves respect and quality medical care. We're on a mission to break down the barriers between inmates and healthcare, ensuring that every patient receives the same level of compassion and attention as they would in the community. Here are just a few ways we're revolutionizing the world of correctional care.

  • Competitive staff salaries and benefits, to have a well-supported and well-functioning staff
  • Intentionally addressing patients' mental health as well as physical health, including suicide prevention services
  • Locally-sourced staff with an empathetic, region-specific understanding 


In conclusion, compassionomics proves true. Empathy in correctional healthcare is essential to providing inmates with access to quality care and improving their health and well-being. Compassion can also help reduce recidivism, cut unnecessary costs, and create a safer environment for all. By recognizing the importance of compassion in prison healthcare, we can ensure that inmates receive the care they need and deserve.

Contact us now and learn more about how you can secure compassionate care for your facility today.