An “accountable care community,” empathy in sepsis, and perspectives on assisted dying: RightCare Weekly
November 6, 2014
In order to bring you more of the news you want to read, RightCare Weekly summarizes and interprets three important articles and provides headlines linking to the many other articles and editorials you’ll find interesting. As always, RightCare Weekly presents articles related to moving our healthcare system toward the right care for all patients.
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In Forbes, Rob Waters interviews Janine Janosky of the Austen Bioinnovation Institute in Akron, Ohio about the institute’s new “accountable care community.” The project is built on the idea that healthcare ought to “…be accountable, but let’s not just be accountable for patients that walk through the doors of hospitals. Let’s be accountable to everyone who lives in our community.” The result is a city-wide collaborative that includes competing hospitals, as well as non-healthcare businesses and governmental agencies. It’s a stellar example of bringing an entire community together to improve health, and we hope it’ll be emulated by others.
Dr. Rana Awdish, a pulmonary and critical care physician, shares her experience as a patient in a lecture at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. Her story is built around a vivid depiction of the inhumane care she received when critically ill, including a number of shocking comments she overhears while hospitalized from fellow physicians. Her doctors didn’t mean any harm, but they failed to recognize how language that’s common among medical professionals can come across as callous and uncaring to a patient. The lecture also highlights the communication training Dr. Awdish conducts for critical care residents, and links to the Caring Conversations app, which provides resources and examples of effective patient communication strategies for physicians, nurses, and medical trainees.
In an NPR interview, Katherine Morris, MD, a surgical oncologist at the University of New Mexico Hospital, speaks of assisting two patients in Oregon with ending their lives, but that she had mixed emotions about doing so. It was only after much soul-searching and counsel from family members that she became the prescribing physician, noting the importance of honoring patient choice and obligations to support it. “No matter how a patient chooses to approach death and dying, it’s always unique for the patient. And it’s always incredibly impactful for the physician. I cannot imagine this becoming routine,” she said about assisted suicide. “It’s never routine.”
As a strong opponent of widespread legalization of physician-assisted suicide, Lachlan Forrow, MD, of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, in an opinion piece posted on Boston.com, discusses the recent physician-assisted suicide of 29-year-old terminally ill patient Brittany Maynard in Oregon. Forrow argues that physician-assisted suicide should be the option of last resort, considered only after superb palliative care and hospice prove inadequate. But he notes the failures of our healthcare system and hesitancy for families to have conversations about end of life lead needlessly to unbearable suffering for many patients at the end.
The CIR/SEIU conference, “What’s your QI IQ?” takes place on Nov. 8: Register now. A second QI IQ event will take place in New York in the spring, focusing on health disparities.