Communication Matters Across the Care System

Conversation on Hospice Care

04.18.13 By Kaelan Hollon

There's so many important facets of caregiving, some of them much, much harder than others. Today we've got a guest post from Donald Schumacher, President and CEO of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, a group representing those involved in the most difficult (and often neglected) aspects of patient care. NHPCO's CEO details a new policy event that will hopefully broaden the national conversation on hospice care. 

It’s no secret that the healthcare system is expanding, growing in both size and complexity. Treatment tools at our disposal are increasingly sophisticated and effective, and in the coming years, we will see unprecedented levels of patient access to care.

This will impact all branches of the healthcare system and all ends of the patient spectrum, from pediatrics to hospice.

One important tool, as we confront these changes, is one that is unfortunately overlooked by many stakeholders: communication.

In the pharmaceutical industry, communication might be between companies and healthcare providers about new medicines, or between patients and their physicians about potential therapies.

In the hospice and palliative care world, there is another important line of communication – among families.

Next week, we are hosting a policy symposium, “Conversations Before the Crisis: The Intersection of Family, Faith and Policy in Advance Care Planning,” to talk about that line of communication and the impact it has on millions of Americans daily.

Our message is simple: we need a system that fosters communications about advance care planning – among families, with their healthcare providers, with their lawyers, and even with their faith community.

It is through advance care planning that Americans will know that, whether they battle illness or injury or accident, they will get the care that they want. We urge our fellow members of the healthcare community to join us as we encourage more conversations about patient care throughout the healthcare system.

J. Donald Schumacher, PsyD

President and CEO

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization


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