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November 21, 2012
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News for physicians caring for the seriously ill

  Top Story 
  • Awareness gap remains as palliative care services expand
    A recent Public Opinion Research Strategies survey found that 70% of people had no knowledge of palliative care, even as more hospitals are adding or enhancing palliative care services. "Palliative care is about therapeutic relationship-building and interpersonal skills," said palliative care nurse practitioner Maggie Riley of the Atlanta VA Medical Center. "It's about listening intently, restating and reclarifying, so that you understand what a patient knows and what he needs or wants to know in order to make good decisions." The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (11/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Palliative & Hospice Care Update  
  • Why systematic improvement is needed for end-of-life care
    Every physician and nurse can benefit from formal training in how to talk with patients about end-of-life care, says Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, chair of the Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health. Emanuel advocates an increase in the number of hospitals offering palliative care and broader eligibility for hospice care in this discussion. The Atlantic online (11/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Patient & Family Perspective  
  • Hospice can help manage grief during holidays
    Hospice of the Piedmont in North Carolina offers an annual Hope for the Holidays program to help people manage first holiday occasions after the loss of a loved one. While funerals and other death-related traditions can help push forward the grieving process, holidays often remind survivors of the acute loss they have suffered. This article includes advice on dealing with grief and on how to be there for people who grieving. Jamestown News (N.C.) (11/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Doctor sees need for more public awareness efforts
    A lack of patient awareness around the availability of hospice leaves services severely underutilized, and November is a good time to address that because it is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, writes Dr. Jerry Bruggeman, associate medical director of Hospice Compassus in Columbia, Mo. Hospice services can increase quality of life and survival. "With greater awareness, better understanding and more open dialogue, we can bring quality hospice care to more people who need it," Bruggeman writes. Columbia Daily Tribune (Mo.) (11/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Medical Research  
  • Parental chronic pain may affect pain in children
    Teens were more likely to feel chronic nonspecific pain and chronic multisite pain if one or both of their parents suffered from chronic pain, a Norwegian study showed. The prevalence of pediatric pain also was lower in households with both parents present than in single parent households, researchers reported in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. American News Report (11/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Health Policy & Practice  
  • Why Medicaid cuts threaten seniors, too
    Many of the frail elderly depend on Medicaid, and huge cuts to the program would be wrong and harmful, according to Urban Institute fellow and Forbes contributor Howard Gleckman. Long-term care accounts for 1 in 3 Medicaid dollars. Among people who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, half are older than 80 and one-sixth have Alzheimer's disease. Forbes (11/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Sleep drug may increase risk of falls, study finds
    Mayo Clinic researchers examined data on more than 16,000 hospitalized patients in the U.S., and found that those who received the sleeping pill Ambien, or zolpidem, fell at a rate four times greater than those who didn't receive the treatment. Due to the research, Mayo is transitioning to other sleep-enhancement treatments, said Dr. Timothy Morgenthaler, Mayo's chief patient safety officer. U.S. News & World Report/HealthDay News (11/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Trends & Technology  
  • Health groups collaborate to create database that tracks outcomes
    The International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement, started by the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard Business School, the Karolinska Institutet and Boston Consulting Group, is creating a database of medical registries that aims to boost care quality by better tracking outcomes. The groups will classify health measures and outcomes and put them in a format that enables providers to examine medical care quality in various countries. MedPage Today (free registration) (11/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  AAHPM News  
  • How can you stay inspired and up to date on the latest advances in hospice and palliative care?
    Join the more than 2,400 hospice and palliative care professionals who meet once each year to gain knowledge directly from leaders in the field at the 2013 AAHPM & HPNA Annual Assembly. Learn the latest scientific advances. Share best practices. Build long-lasting relationships. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • What's your level of knowledge of hospice and palliative medicine?
    Test it with HPM PASS, an online practice test designed to help you assess your understanding of hospice and palliative medicine. It includes 150 test questions to evaluate your knowledge and uncover areas where additional review may be helpful. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Editor's Note 
  • AAHPM SmartBrief will not publish Friday
    In observance of Thanksgiving in the U.S., AAHPM SmartBrief will not be published Friday. We will return next Wednesday. Enjoy the holiday! LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
If the only prayer you said in your whole life was 'thank you,' that would suffice."
--Meister Eckhart,
German theologian and philosopher

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