January 15, 2021
Hospice and Palliative Medicine SmartBrief
News for physicians caring for the seriously illSIGN UP ⋅   SHARE
Top Story
A panel of palliative care advocates from Colombia, Mexico, and Panama said better access to palliative care and pain-relieving medications is needed during the COVID-19 pandemic, with only a low percentage of palliative care needs being met. "We've learned that palliative medicines are every bit as critical as the mechanical ventilators, intravenous therapies, antipyretics and antihistamines," said Silvia Allende of Mexico.
Full Story: University of Miami (1/13) 
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Palliative & Hospice Care Update
A pediatric clinic providing in-home and hospice care has opened in Idaho. The need for home health and hospice care for children has "skyrocketed," according to Dr. Aaron Gardner, co-founder of Just 4 kids Home Health & Hospice in Idaho Falls.
Full Story: Hospice News (1/14) 
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End-of-life doulas help the dying and their loved ones overcome fear and provide nonmedical services at the bedside to comfort families. Vigils usually are held in the last four or five days of life, when doulas spend more time with families, creating a soothing atmosphere that may include massage, soft music, aromatherapy, or other complementary services.
Full Story: Midland Reporter-Telegram (Texas)/The Associated Press (1/10) 
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Patient & Family Perspective
How to find empathy when there's nothing left to give
Being able to muster empathy may feel difficult amid the relentless stress brought on by the pandemic, but it's important to find ways to show compassion, which can build connection and promote healing, says social worker Kelsey Crowe. Relying on the ways we're inherently kind to others, such as through mindful listening, can make helping others feel less draining, Crowe says.
Full Story: Self (1/12) 
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Health Policy & Practice
HHS Secretary Alex Azar said Tuesday that states have two weeks to get ready for a change in how the federal government allots COVID-19 vaccines, adding that the government will no longer hold on to doses for the follow-up set of shots. Vaccines will be allocated based on how big a state's elderly population is and how fast a state can carry out vaccination.
Full Story: CNBC (1/12) 
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Operation Warp Speed officials said over half of the more than 641,000 monoclonal antibody treatments allocated for outpatients with COVID-19 have not been used because of concerns about best practices. Committees from the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the NIH have said more evidence is needed on the efficacy of monoclonal antibody treatments and which patients may benefit most.
Full Story: Medscape (free registration) (1/12) 
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HHS has rolled out a treatment locator tool that shows which sites have received shipments of FDA-authorized COVID-19 antibody treatments within the past several weeks. The tool, which can be accessed at HHS' Protect Public Data Hub, "allows patients and providers to find sites for outpatient treatment options, which may help reduce the number of people who require hospitalization for COVID-19 care, which in turn reduces the strain on our nation's hospitals and their staff," according to Robert Kadlec, HHS assistant secretary for preparedness and response.
Full Story: Healthcare IT News (1/12) 
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Clinical leaders at five Arizona health systems want a meeting with Gov. Doug Ducey because the COVID-19 pandemic has strained their resources almost to the point of rationing. Ducey has said he is satisfied with current COVID-19 mitigation efforts, but the executives called for additional measures and said if triage is needed they will adopt those standards of care at the same time.
Full Story: The Arizona Republic (Phoenix) (tiered subscription model) (1/14),  KPNX-TV (Phoenix) (1/13) 
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Trends & Technology
Nearly 25% of health care professionals, insurers and employers responding to a Klas survey said they are dissatisfied with the telehealth platform they are using. Respondents valued EHR integration, a simple clinical experience and an easy-to-use patient interface.
Full Story: Healthcare Dive (1/7) 
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If you can't attend the live Annual Assembly meeting Feb. 17-19, that shouldn't stop you from registering. All educational sessions will be available on-demand for registered attendees to watch on your own schedule until May 20. This opportunity allows you flexibility to work around your busy schedule. Check out the Educational Sessions page to see what education we have in store!
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The AAHPM Job Mart currently has more than 500 postings, including physicians, clinical faculty, medical directors, and nurse managers. Consider posting openings at your organization or search for your next position on the Job Mart.
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Connect deeply with others. Our humanity is the one thing that we all have in common.
Melinda Gates,
philanthropist, advocate for women and girls
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  Palliative Care Physician Beaumont Hospital Royal Oak, MI
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