A survey of 1,000 patients in the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network found 54% had stopped or refused treatment, and among the uninsured, 98% had. Dr. Jennifer Spencer, a study author, said larger studies of financial toxicity that use national samples are needed to better understand the issue.
Speaker, writer and cancer survivor Barbara Tako says the most significant takeaway after her mother's death was "choose the best hospice care you can find." Record the special moments and learn how to work with hospice care providers to offer end-of-life support, she says, while remembering that the people around you are also learning to cope.
Tricare has issued a policy change allowing military dependents under 21 to receive concurrent curative care with hospice care. The policy change was included in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act.
After the death of her mother, Carla Sofka, writer and professor of social work, was surprised to find that the funeral home had posted her mother's obituary on its website without asking her permission. Digital technologies have changed the etiquette of grief, and experts give eight tips about death and social media to help give some basic rules of "netiquette".
Hospices can expect increased scrutiny of their operations after recent HHS reports, with longer length of stays, recertification and live discharges as flags that could trigger audits. A process for self-audits, obtaining appropriate signatures and staff education can help, and documentation should be accurate, timely and comprehensive.
Lay navigators used in a clinical trial involving Latinos with cancer helped with advanced planning and physical symptoms but had no effect on hospice use or quality of life, according to a study in JAMA Oncology. Lay navigators can assist health care professionals in addressing barriers to care that can involve culture or even logistics.
Burnout affects physicians, nurses and health care leaders, and the industry must measure work-related fatigue and create an environment of support and care for team members, writes Tampa General Hospital CEO John Couris. "Focusing on the care of your team (as well as yourself) is not only the right and most compassionate thing to do, it also makes strong business sense," Couris writes.
Companies are developing technology tools, such as apps, that allow hospital staff to provide family members updates on patients, including those in surgery or the NICU. There are privacy issues related to using the technology and concern that it may overtax nursing staff, but the tools also may improve patient and family satisfaction.
The University of Michigan's health system has 34 artificial intelligence and machine learning research projects underway, and most are multidisciplinary efforts, says Michigan Medicine Chief Information Officer Andrew Rosenberg. Projects include analyzing EHR and electrocardiography data to predict acute hemodynamic instability and using machine learning to predict hospital patients' risk of Clostridium difficile infection.
Created for registered nurses new to the hospice and palliative nursing specialty, the RN Clinical Orientation Program is training specifically created for experienced nurses entering into hospice and palliative care. A companion textbook is included, and discount opportunities are available to employers and agencies. Visit our website to learn more.