AAHPM/HPNA release palliative, hospice quality measures | Study explores palliative care unit discharges | Palliative care is growing but shortages, access issues remain
February 20, 2015
Hospice and Palliative Medicine SmartBrief
News for physicians caring for the seriously ill

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AAHPM/HPNA release palliative, hospice quality measures
The Measuring What Matters project from the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association released 10 top quality measures for palliative and hospice care. University of Rochester associate professor Sally Norton led the two-year project, which published its results online in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. BeckersHospitalReview.com (2/17), FierceHealthcare (2/17)
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Is Pricing Low Your Strategy to Success? Think again.
Pricing is the heart of a business. It affects everything you do and is affected by everything you do. Economists talk of supply and demand as key factors behind pricing—successful entrepreneurs manipulate demand by making their products more desirable. These six steps will help you determine the right price for your product or service, read the article and learn how to get pricing right.

Palliative & Hospice Care Update Sponsored By
Study explores palliative care unit discharges
A study of a German inpatient palliative care unit and palliative care mobile support team found more than half of discharged patients were able to stay in their discharge setting, such as hospice, a nursing home or a private home. Researchers said the most frequent change was from private home to hospital and hospital back to private home. Most patients died at home or in inpatient hospice or inpatient palliative care units. Oncology Nurse Advisor online (2/17)
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Palliative care is growing but shortages, access issues remain
Palliative care is growing as a medical specialty, but there still is a shortage of practitioners. Patients in many areas of the country may lack access to services, according to an article in Harvard Magazine. A second report chronicles palliative care experiences among patients in Massachusetts. "My job is to try to help people with serious illness live as well as they can, for as long as they can," said Dr. Vicki Jackson, chief of palliative care at Massachusetts General Hospital. Harvard Magazine (3/2015), Harvard Magazine (3/2015)
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Physicians should consider patient fears of using opioids
Problems with opioid dependence are regularly featured in local and national media, and the reports feed into concerns patients have about taking the medications, writes Dr. Kristina Newport. She said a study found that acceptance increases when people see the drugs are being used safely and benefit patients, and practitioners must consider the reasons for patients' objections when creating care plans. Pallimed blog (2/18)
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Building Workplace Trust 2015
Interaction Associates' 6th annual research study tracking trust on the job, Building Workplace Trust, is out, and more than half of employees surveyed give their organizations low marks for trust and leadership. Yet this year's findings again point to how high trust leads to better outcomes and financial results — and even boosts innovation.

Patient & Family Perspective Sponsored By
Fla. survey: Caregivers want more resources, training
In a phone survey of about 1,200 adults ages 45 and older in Jacksonville, Fla., 78% said family caregivers need more resources and training. The AARP survey found about 20% of respondents were current caregivers and 90% felt it was important that resources be available to help older adults live independently. The Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville) (2/16)
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How SDN Makes Campus Networks Better
When should agencies adopt SDN? IDC reports that SDN provides immediate benefits for government campus networks, including modernized IT infrastructures that are more agile, cost-effective, and collaborative.
Read this new IDC paper to learn more.

Medical Research
Study assesses risks in taking long-acting opioids
Research that involved data on 840,606 veterans, who were mostly male and over age 50, linked long-acting opioid medications with greater odds of unintentional overdoses compared with shorter-acting forms of the medicines. The study in JAMA Internal Medicine found the risk escalated during the first two weeks of treatment. Medscape (free registration) (2/18)
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Older patients with chronic illness also may be lonely, study says
Older adults with chronic health problems may develop feelings of loneliness, even if they've been married for 50 years or more, researchers reported in Health Psychology. Researcher Meaghan Barlow of Concordia University in Montreal said social ties may affect how people cope with serious conditions late in life. HealthDay News (2/17)
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Health Policy & Practice
Many states may see physician-assisted suicide bills
Legislatures in New Jersey, Connecticut and New York are considering bills that would allow physician-assisted suicide. The advocacy group Compassion & Choices, which supports the effort, said at least 26 states and Washington, D.C., could consider some type of assisted-suicide legislation this year. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (2/16)
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Survey gauges Canadian palliative physicians' views on assisted suicide
Dr. Susan MacDonald, president of the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians, said a survey found 56% of society members believe that assisted suicide is not within their purview or did not comply with the World Health Organization's definition of palliative care. Canadian Medical Association Journal (2/18)
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Trends & Technology
Provider concerns interfere with HIE adoption, data suggest
Seventy percent of standalone hospitals and 91% of medical practices do not routinely share electronic health information with outside organizations, and they see HIE as costly, unpredictable, inadequate and inaccurate, according to data from Black Book Market Research. "Fewer and more specifically defined interoperability objectives are needed to focus stakeholders to prevent the technology industry from backing further away from connectivity initiatives," said Black Book managing partner Doug Brown. Health IT Analytics (2/17)
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Best of 2014 Annual Assembly recordings
We've made it easy for you to hear one or more of the best sessions from the 2014 AAHPM & HPNA Annual Assembly. Learn about adolescent palliative care, how to talk about difficult emotional topics, and regulatory issues. These and other topics are now available in the AAHPM bookstore.
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Need to brush up on your knowledge of medication, palliative wound care and more?
AAHPM is proud to offer four CME courses online at Relias Academy. The 4 courses now offered are: Our Double-Edged Sword: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Balancing Symptom Control, Palliative Care "Bucket List Skills" Learned from a Difficult Case, Palliative Wound Care, and Speed Dating with Pharmacists: 50 Practical Medication Tips. To view these online courses and enroll in CME, visit aahpm.academy.reliaslearning.com.
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Who's Hiring?
Position TitleCompany NameLocation
Hospice and Palliative PhysicianAgrace HospiceCareMadison, WI
Palliative and Hospice PhysicianMethodist HealthcareMEMPHIS, TN
Medical Director, Post-Acute Services.AtlantiCareEgg Harbor, NJ
Employed Palliative Care Opportunity in the Heart of Phoenix!Banner HealthPhoenix, AZ
Click here to view more job listings.
Observe the wonders as they occur around you. Don't claim them. Feel the artistry moving through and be silent."
-- Rumi,
poet and theologian
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