Aliki Initiative

Time to Care

How do you teach caring in a whirlwind? Slow down the pace. Give doctors time to know their patients as people, to talk to their families, to call or even visit them at home after they leave the hospital, to find out how they’re doing , see how they live, and to make sure they’re getting better.

Welcome to the world of inpatient medicine, where there are countless opportunities for meaningful connections — or for signs and words to be lost in translation, as busy doctors do their best to help complicated patients in a very short period of time.

Nobody wants it to be this way; most doctors agree that this is not what they signed up for in medical school, and most patients would gladly volunteer a lot more information, if their doctor only asked the right questions, or if they thought the doctor really wanted to hear the answers.

If only there were more time. Thanks to a remarkable woman named Aliki Perroti, a philanthropist from Greece, there is. In 2007, the CIM launched the Aliki Initiative, a groundbreaking program that offers newfangled and old-fashioned medicine at the same time. Its goal is for doctors to know their patients better, and its features include:

  • Fewer patients for each doctor, so the doctor can spend more time with each one.
  • Doctor-patient relationships that don’t end when the patient is wheeled out of the hospital.
  • Knowing the patient as a person, so that evidence-based medicine can be custom-tailored for individual needs.
  • Wise use of technology.
  • Patient feedback, as patients report how well their doctors did. National statistics estimate that about 60 percent of all patients feel their doctors do not know them as individuals. Worse, only 40 percent of patients nationally receive care that is considered to be appropriate, based on scientific evidence. Thanks to Mrs. Perroti, the CIM is bucking these trends and changing how medicine is taught throughout Johns Hopkins and at other centers, as well, which have developed their own Aliki-inspired programs.
  • Related Publications.