We’ll be discussing palliative care on multiple platforms this week.
First, we’re kicking off a new series of #bswhchats Twitter chats with a conversation on palliative care on Tuesday, January 13, at 2 p.m. CST.
Then, later this week, we’ll begin a new collaboration with KERA-FM (90.1) that includes a series of health care podcasts. The “On Call” series will be hosted by the station’s Health, Science and Technology reporter/blogger, Lauren Silverman, who will provide an insider view of critical health care topics through the eyes of local doctors and other health care providers and experts. The first podcast will be posted by Thursday morning right here on the Scrubbing In blog, as well as on KERA News Breakthroughs blog.
We’re starting off with a focus on palliative care because it’s an important topic and one that has been in the news quite a bit in recent months.
Back in September, a national nonpartisan panel released a report that concluded “the country’s system for handling end-of-life care is largely broken and should be overhauled at almost every level,” The New York Times reported.
Among the recommendations: “medical schools and groups that accredit and regulate health providers should greatly increase training in palliative care and set standards so that more clinicians know how to compassionately and effectively treat patients who want to be made comfortable but avoid extensive medical procedures,” The Times reported.
It’s important to note that palliative care “is much much more than the death and dying service it is so often portrayed to be,” said Robert L. Fine, MD, Clinical Director of the Office of Clinical Ethics and Palliative Care at Baylor Scott and White Health.
BSWH, for example, has an interdisciplinary team focused on the treatment of suffering: physical, emotional, social and spiritual.
The specialty is often confused with hospice, with which it has both similarities and differences. Perhaps the most important difference is palliative care does not require stopping active disease management, and above all, palliative care is about easing suffering.
Dr. Fine will be our guest moderator on Tuesday, when he’ll be at the controls of our @BaylorHealth Twitter account. We hope you can join the conversation, a transcript of which will be posted here after it concludes.