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What are your thoughts, concerns, and satisfactions about your practice as a health care chaplain? Let your peers know, by writing an article for PlainViews®, the preeminent professional online journal for health care chaplains. Every month, we publish articles that articulate evidence-informed best practices.

Here are some of the areas we are especially interested in publishing:

  • Teaching other health care disciplines about spirituality and the role of the professional chaplain;
  • What chaplains need to know about conflict management and ways to manage it;
  • Negotiation skills when working with patients, families, and staff;
  • The practical integration of resilience as an intervention and support;
  • Working with persons dealing with substance abuse and addiction;
  • Spiritual care to stroke patients and their loved ones.

For more information about writing for PlainViews®, please visit www.plainviews.healthcarechaplaincy.org and read the Editorial Policy at the top of the masthead or contact Sue Wintz at swintz@healthcarechaplaincy.org.

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   January 2016     Issue No. 6

Patient-Centered Care News

 

We hope that you find this complimentary monthly e-newsletter informative. Below are excerpts with links.  Also included is a downloadable PDF version for readers who prefer that format.

 

Please feel free to send any questions or comments to comm@healthcarechaplaincy.org.



Sincerely,







Rev. Eric J. Hall

President & CEO

HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, Inc.

 

 

 

 

Patient Experience

 

The Hidden Patient Experience (Health Leaders Media)
 

How well-meaning and clinically unimportant actions can make or break the patient experience, and how leaders at Cleveland Clinic and Mount Sinai Health System are refocusing efforts.


During her hospital's monthly executive leadership rounds, Cleveland Clinic's executive chief nursing officer, K. Kelly Hancock, MSN, RN, NE-BC, met a patient who didn't seem quite happy, despite his insistence that everything was OK.

"We could just tell that he was a bit hesitant in his answers," Hancock says. So before she and her fellow executives left him, they probed a little more, asking, "Are you sure there's nothing else we could do to make your experience better?"

Actually, something was bothering him. Someone had come in to change his gown, and instead of addressing him by name, such as Mr. Smith, they called him "honey" and "sweetie."

"For him, he was offended," Hancock says.

It may have seemed like a small thing, but it really rubbed him the wrong way, and totally colored his experience as a patient. It was clear that it had been bothering him for quite some time.

"You've really got to dig when you're with the patients and the families," Hancock says. "What's important to that patient [is something] you may miss."

Clinicians might check off all of the important clinical boxes when caring for a patient, but it's often the small-perhaps nearly imperceptible-nonclinical elements of a hospital stay that most affect whether a patient has a good experience.

"I think that patients come to us expecting to get really good clinical care," agrees Sandra Myerson, MBA, MS, BSN, RN, senior vice president and chief patient experience officer at New York's Mount Sinai Health System. "The only way they can really judge us is on the rest of it."

With all the effort, money, and attention that's currently being paid to the patient experience, it's important for clinicians to understand how to get to the real heart of how a patient is feeling, and to do it in real-time.

 

 

A Physician Writes: Hospitals Need a Checklist for Patient Experience (KevinMD.com) 

 

More than twenty years ago, when I was a medical student, I jotted down another surgeon's suggestions. To us students, chief of surgery Dr. Frank Spencer was an intimidating, blunt-spoken, larger-than-life figure who not infrequently hollered at his residents. With patients, he was a different man, and he exhorted us again and again to follow a set of rules - a checklist, really, although he didn't call it that. It was a step-by-step guide to acting humanely with patients, because, after all, the chaos of the hospital makes it so easy to forget:

  • Treat the patient like a family member, with dignity and respect.
  • Be gentle and honest.
  • Don't rush.
  • Make them comfortable.
  • Acknowledge their fear.
  • Don't sit behind a desk.
  • Encourage them to ask questions.
  • Grade yourself by how you feel when you leave the room. If you leave with a smile, give yourself an A.

To be sure, it may be distressing for patients to think that hospital staff need such reminders. But the whole point of checklists is to ensure that we don't overlook the most obvious tasks, like checking temperatures and blood pressures or making sure we are in fact talking to (or taking a scalpel to) the right patient. Or treating a patient like a family member, with dignity and respect, and acknowledging their fear.

 

 

Download and View Complimentary Webinar & Slides: "The Critical Role of Spirituality in Patient Experience"

 

(Presented by: Jason A. Wolf, PhD, President, The Beryl Institute and Rev. George Handzo, BCC, CSSBB Director, Health Services Research and Quality HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™)

 

Many hospitals have partnered chaplaincy and patient experience or even put chaplains in charge of patient experience. And yet, spiritual care and chaplaincy care remain underutilized in helping to improve patient experience. Sharing insights from The Beryl Institute white paper published in collaboration with HealthCare Chaplaincy NetworkTM, The Critical Role of Spirituality in Patient Experience, this webinar explored the emerging focus of spiritual care and chaplaincy in patient experience excellence and provide a core set of central themes and concepts for organizations to consider regarding spiritual care. Participants will identify key practices on integrating spiritual care into healthcare and understand the impact the professional healthcare chaplain role has on patient experience excellence.

 

 

Note: Membership and promotional codes are not required.

 



Spirituality and the Terminally Ill Patient


A Lesson in Spirituality (e-hospice International & Journal of Pain & Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy)

 

It is not easy to understand how spiritual support works in a multi-religious environment unless one has lived in such a society.

In a culture where diversity of faiths and spiritual practices exist, there is potential for a complicated situation if a religious leader of one faith provides care to a person who follows another faith. Sometimes, though, the spiritual needs at the end of life can be surprising.

In the narrative entitled: 'A Lesson in Spirituality', published in the Journal of Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy, Dr Vidya Viswanath describes the story of a Hindu man with advanced cancer. His illiterate wife, in the author's words, turns out to be a "perfect" spiritual caregiver. The woman asked the husband: "If something happened to you suddenly, what would you want me to do?" The man replied that since childhood he has liked the rituals of church, and so would like a Christian funeral and burial. When he died, he was buried the way he wanted. The extended family then performed Hindu rituals.

I find the story so very uplifting - the merging of religious beliefs, all tending to connect the dying person and the family "to nature and the significant or sacred." This story reaffirms that the essence of spirituality is the coexistence of harmony and humanity, transcendent of religion.

The Journal of Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy in which this story is published, is an indexed journal that has made the narratives free access. That is a noble act on the part of the publishers, who have taken this step to help tell the story of suffering and relief to the world.

 

 

Chaplaincy


Why Hospitals Must Be Hospitable; Why Health Care Must Be Healing -- And Why Chaplains Must Lead the Way -- PlainViews® 

 

The words "hospital" and "hospitable" and the words "health" and healing" are obviously derived from the same roots.[i] And yet, patient surveys repeatedly demonstrate that there is a significant disconnect between what goes on in a hospital and the idea of being hospitable, and between the modern health care system and any common sense notion of healing.[ii]

 

...

 

Modernity pays lip service to this idea of holistic care, but generally does not practice what it preaches. Increased specialization has led to more rigid separation of these aspects of the person. A hospital patient today can look forward to being seen by innumerable practitioners; only rarely does anyone have panoramic vision of the overall impact of the various discrete interventions upon the patient as a whole.

 

...

 

Returning a Sense of Wholeness

 

I give them a chance to return to their sense of wholeness. To their sense of empowerment. I reduce their feelings of isolation. I advocate for them (lawyer's genes) and I encourage them to advocate for themselves.

I can't offer drugs, tests or procedures. I offer empathy, warmth, connection, relationship. I diminish loneliness and fear and feelings of vulnerability with information and reassurance. I do not cure people (at least not directly), but I facilitate their healing. I believe people who heal have a much better chance of being restored to health (which may or may not mean being cured). Not only that, I believe they have a much better chance of restoring themselves to health.

 

What role, then, can chaplains play in enhancing the health care experience of patients and their families.

 

...

Chaplains have a unique opportunity to promote positive, constructive and caring relationship for the benefit of patients, families and staff. We are well-equipped to bring hospitality back into our hospitals and healing into health care, and to exhort others to join us. To be sure, there is still much work to be done, even at my small community hospital and certainly in the modern health care system generally. And it is not easy work. On the contrary, changing individual attitudes and institutional culture is a slow, tough slog, fraught with real frustrations and setbacks along the way.

 

Though our progress may not be linear, it can and must be forward progress nonetheless. The Mishna teaches, "You are not required to finish the work, but neither are you free to desist from it."[x] Chaplains are not responsible for changing the entire system or even an entire workplace, but we are nevertheless obligated to do our part and to lead when and where we can.   

 

[i] The words "hospital" and "hospitable" are derived from the Latin hospes, meaning "host," "guest," or "stranger." Charlton T. Lewis, 

An Elementary Latin Dictionary (Oxford University Press, 2000), p. 371. The words "health" and "healing" are derived from the Old English"hal," and the Old High German, "heil," meaning "whole." See Byron L. Sherwin, 

In Partnership with God: Contemporary Jewish Law and Ethics (Syracuse University Press, 1990), p. 81.

 

[ii] See, e.g., Peter Pronovost, "The Patient Wish List," US News and World Report, October 15, 2015; Harvey Chochinov, MD, Dignity in Care.

 

Author: Karen Lieberman, JD, BCC is a staff chaplain at Columbia St. Mary's Hospital in Mequon, Wisconsin. She received her Juris Doctor from Stanford Law School and her Master of Science in Jewish Studies from Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership. Karen is board-certified by both Neshama: Association of Jewish Chaplains and the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy.

 

This piece is dedicated to the memory of her teacher, Rabbi Dr. Byron L. Sherwin, ZT"L.

 

 

Palliative Care


A Physician Writes: Timing of Palliative Care Consultations -- Is Earlier Better? (GeriPal Blog)

 

I think there are three main take home points from this study ("The Costs of Waiting: Implications of the Timing of Palliative Care Consultation among a Cohort of Decedents at a Comprehensive Cancer Center"):

1) If you want to significantly improve early access to palliative care, you must deliver this care outside of the hospital setting. We've seen this with our own data at our medical center. The second we opened up a palliative care clinic nearly a decade ago, our time from consult to death increased from a little less to a month to now over half a year.

2) If you improve early access to palliative care by developing an outpatient clinic, you will see a drop in inpatient deaths. Again, we've seen this in our own medical center. The drop in inpatient deaths though creates problems if quality metrics are only measuring what happens to inpatient deaths (the easiest deaths to capture). For high quality metrics, all deaths need to be captured, something that is difficult in a fragmented health care system.

3) The delivery of high quality of care can also be cost-effective care. This study further adds to the growing list of studies that palliative care can not only can improve the quality of care for patients with serious illness, but can do it in a way that also reduces total health care costs.

 

 

Palliative Care Cuts Costs for Cancer Patients With Other Health Problems (HealthDay)

 

Previous research has found a link between palliative care and lower health care costs, but this is the first study to focus on patients with multiple health issues, the researchers said.


The study included terminally ill cancer patients with a number of coexisting chronic conditions (comorbidities). When they were admitted to the hospital, some were seen by a palliative care team while others received usual care.

Hospital costs for those in the palliative care group were 22 percent lower than for those in the usual care group. Also, costs were up to 32 percent lower for palliative care patients with the greatest number of health problems, according to the study in the January issue of the journal Health Affairs.
"We already know that coordinated, patient-centered palliative care improves care quality, enhances survival, and reduces costs for persons with cancer," said study lead author Dr. R. Sean Morrison, professor of geriatrics and palliative medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

"Our latest research now shows the strong association between cost and the number of co-occurring conditions. Among patients with advanced cancer and other serious illnesses, aggressive treatments are often inconsistent with patients' wishes and are associated with worse quality of life compared to other treatments," Morrison, who is also director of the National Palliative Care Research Center, said in a hospital news release.

It is "imperative" that policymakers act to expand access to palliative care, he added.

 

 

A Thank You Letter to David Bowie From a Palliative Care Doctor

 

Dear David,


Oh no, don't say it's true - whilst realization of your death was sinking in during those grey, cold January days of 2016, many of us went on with our day jobs. At the beginning of that week I had a discussion with a hospital patient, facing the end of her life. We discussed your death and your music, and it got us talking about numerous weighty subjects, that are not always straightforward to discuss with someone facing their own demise. In fact, your story became a way for us to communicate very openly about death, something many doctors and nurses struggle to introduce as a topic of conversation. But before I delve further into the aforementioned exchange, I'd like to get a few other things off my chest, and I hope you don't find them a saddening bore.

 

 

High quality programming cost-effectively extends the delivery of spiritual care.  Choose from these three formats on your internal TV system, tablet or DVD, hard-wired or on a tablet.

 

Learn More

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The third annual “Caring for the Human Spirit Conference” on April 11-13 at the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay, San Diego, California will explore the latest in evidence-based thought, research, and clinical experience related to integrating spiritual care in health care

The three-day conference, hosted by HealthCare Chaplaincy NetworkTM, will feature highly-regarded experts in spiritual care and palliative care from around the world, and is expected to draw a multi-disciplinary, international audience of physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, researchers, educators, and other health care professionals.

The Poster Session is a chance to share your research, case studies and projects with conference attendees.  Submissions from all disciplines are welcomed along with posters previously presented elsewhere.

Posters will be available for viewing on all 3 days of the conference. All conference attendees, supporters and exhibitors will have an opportunity to talk with you and learn from your work at the poster sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday.  

Abstracts and posters must include:

Title
Problem
Action Taken
Outcomes/Data
Institution
Contact email and telephone information.   

Abstract submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis until March 11, 2016. If you choose to display a poster at the Annual Conference, you must be registered and are responsible for your own travel and hotel accommodations.  

To submit for consideration please email the requested information to Ms. Esmeralda Cordero, ecordero@healthcarechaplaincy.org no later than March 11, 2016.

Conference website is http://www.healthcarechaplaincy.org/conference.html

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Award honors individuals who provide excellent cancer care

Atlanta, GA – January 14, 2016 – The American Cancer Society recognized Sister Mary Elaine Goodell, PBVM, DMA, BCC, with the American Cancer Society Lane W. Adams Quality of Life Award, a prestigious national honor for cancer care and commitment. 

The Lane W. Adams Quality of Life Award recognizes individuals who consistently exhibit excellence and compassion in providing care to cancer patients, going beyond their duties to make a difference in the life of cancer patients and their families. This award also represents the concept of the “warm hand of service,” which is an integral part of the Society’s commitment to excellence in cancer care and specifically emphasized by Lane W. Adams when he served as executive vice president of the American Cancer Society. Lane’s definition of the warm hand of service was to “serve others and enrich the purpose of one’s existence.”

The award was presented during a ceremony in Atlanta on January 13, 2016. Sr. Elaine was one of ten recipients to receive the award this year.

“These extraordinary awardees deserve to be recognized for their efforts to improve the quality of care for cancer patients and their families,” said Susan D. Henry, LCSW, chair, Lane Adams Quality of Life Award Workgroup. “These individuals represent personal and professional excellence and they provide critical leadership in the American Cancer Society’s mission to serve those who are touched by cancer.”

Sr. Goodell decided to become a certified chaplain at age 60 when looking for something to do in retirement.  She has spent the last 30 years bringing much needed calm and support to patients facing surgery as an employee of HealthCare Chaplaincy Network assigned to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Sr. Elaine strives to visit and offer prayer and comfort to the nearly 40 to 60 patients per day no matter the patient’s faith or religious affiliation.  She never leaves for the day as long as there is a patient waiting to be seen.  She is highly respected for her chaplaincy skills and much loved by her patients and colleagues. She continues to make patients her daily priority.

The Society has recognized cancer caregivers through the Lane W. Adams Quality of Life Award since 1988.

Left to right in the photo are Gary Reedy, CEO, American Cancer Society; Sister Mary Elaine Goodell; Scarlott K. Mueller, MPH, RN, Chair of the American Cancer Society Board of Directors; and Susan D. Henry, LCSW, chair, Lane Adams Quality of Life Award Workgroup.

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About the American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of 2.5 million volunteers saving lives and fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society's efforts have contributed to a 22 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. since 1991, and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates. Thanks in part to our progress; 14.5 million Americans who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will celebrate more birthdays this year. We're determined to finish the fight against cancer. We're finding cures as the nation’s  largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings, clean air, and more. For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.

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Join Chaplains All Over the World for the Ceremony of Renewal of Commitment to Spiritual Care

 

 

Come explore the latest in evidence based thought, research and clinical experience related to integrating spiritual care in health care.

 

Join us in person or via webcast.

Early bird discount available.

EARN UP TO 17 CONTINUING

EDUCATION UNITS (CME, CNE, CE)

 

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and Policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the University of Alabama School of Medicine (UASOM) and the HealthCare Chaplaincy Network. The UASOM is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

 

The University of Alabama School of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 17 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


Call for Posters

The Poster Session is a chance to share your research, case studies and projects with conference attendees. Submissions from all disciplines are welcomed along with previously presented posters.

Posters will be available for viewing on all 3 days of the conference. All conference attendees, supporters and exhibitors will have an opportunity to talk with you and learn from your work at the poster sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Abstracts and posters must include:

Title

Problem

Action Taken

Outcomes/Data

Institution

Contact email and telephone information.

 

Abstract submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis until March 11, 2016.
If you choose to display a poster at the Annual Conference, you must be registered and are responsible for your own travel and hotel accommodations.

 

To submit for consideration please email the requested information to
Ms. Esmeralda Cordero, ecordero@healthcarechaplaincy.org no later
than March 11, 2016.

 

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT

 

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

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‘CARING FOR THE HUMAN SPIRIT CONFERENCE’ TO EXPLORE RESEARCH AND CLINICAL ADVANCES ON INTEGRATING SPIRITUAL CARE IN HEALTH CARE

HealthCare Chaplaincy’s Annual Event Will Feature World-Renowned Experts, Multi-Disciplinary Attendees

NEW YORK (January 5, 2016)–HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN) will explore the latest in evidence-based thought, research, and clinical experience related to integrating spiritual care in health care at its third annual “Caring for the Human Spirit Conference” on April 11-13.

The three-day conference, at the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay, San Diego, Calif., will feature highly-regarded experts in spiritual care and palliative care from around the world, and is expected to draw a multi-disciplinary, international audience of physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, researchers, educators, and other health care professionals. Participants can attend in person or via webcast.

“This global conference reinforces the critical value of spiritual care as part of whole-person care,” said Rev. Eric J. Hall, HCCN’s president and CEO. “It promises like in past years to be transformative, highlighting the latest advances in the field and laying the groundwork for the spiritual care of the future.”

Leading off the conference will be Harvey Max Chochinov, M.D., Ph.D., FRSC, a distinguished professor in the department of psychiatry, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB Canada, who is renowned for his research into the emotional and psychological needs of dying patients. His keynote address is, “Dignity, Person and Deconstructing Connectedness.”

Plenary session speakers are: Tracy A. Balboni, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor-radiation oncology, Harvard Medical School, Dana-Faber Cancer Institute, Boston, Mass.; George Fitchett, D.Min., Ph.D., professor and director of research, department of religion, health and human values, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Ill.; Carlo Leget, Ph.D., professor in ethics of care, University of Humanistic Studies, Utrecht, the Netherlands; and Rev. Kevin Massey, M.Div., BCC, vice president, mission and spiritual care, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge, Ill.

In addition, more than 30 interactive workshops and a scientific poster session will focus on timely topics such as quality improvement, advance care planning, spiritual assessment and documentation, clinician burnout, best practices, therapeutic outcomes, and ethical issues. Physicians, nurses and social workers can earn 17 Continuing Education Units.

The event also includes a renewal ceremony for professional chaplains, multi-faith prayer services, and an exhibit hall. For more information, supporter and exhibitor opportunities, and to register, including early bird registration through March 14, visit www.healthcarechaplaincy.org/conference.

About HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™ is a global health care nonprofit organization that offers spiritual-related information and resources, and professional chaplaincy services in hospitals, other health care settings, and online. Its mission is to advance the integration of spiritual care in health care through clinical practice, research and education in order to increase patient satisfaction and help people faced with illness and grief find comfort and meaning—whoever they are, whatever they believe, wherever they are. For more information, visit www.healthcarechaplaincy.org, call 212-644-111, and connect with us on twitter and Facebook.

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Today’s article “Help for the Ill or Grieving During the Holidays” in The Wall Street Journal explains how HealthCare Chaplaincy Network and other health care providers and bereavement counselors offer emotional support. An excerpt:

The stress of chronic illness, a cancer diagnosis, or the loss of a loved one can be painfully amplified during the holidays, when everyone seems to be enjoying the festivities and looking forward to ringing in a New Year.

Health-care providers, patient advocacy groups and bereavement counselors are in the midst of their own version of the holiday rush, as people seek help with physical, emotional and spiritual concerns that make it hard to experience the joys of the season.

“People don’t stop being sick and dying during the holidays, and everyone is under pressure to cope,” says the Rev. Eric Hall, a minister and chief executive officer of the nonprofit Health Care Chaplaincy in New York, which provides chaplaincy service to hospitals and online spiritual care resources for patients and families. “It can be difficult to come to grips with the joy of the season and the reality of illness and loss.”

The chaplaincy’s free Chat with a Chaplain service offers consultations with a chaplain via phone, email or video. In anticipation of a spike in holiday demand, it hosted a webinar for chaplains last week on how to provide comfort for illness and grief during the holidays. Among the topics: counseling cancer patients on how to handle social issues such as the need to avoid crowded gatherings due to chemotherapy’s effect on the immune system, and encouraging those who are ill to express their feelings to important people in their life to receive support.

Rev. Hall says individuals who reach out to the chat service may have a specific religious affiliation, or consider themselves, “spiritual but not religious.” Many are wrestling with how to find meaning and hope in illness, and fear about what comes next. The chaplaincy offers other online support such as a personal checklist to assess the level of spiritual distress, and a website, CantBelieveIHaveCancer.org, which allows users to submit a prayer request to chaplains who read them aloud and say prayers at their weekly meetings.

Read the entire article here.

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Both the white paper and the webinar are available for no charge.

The Beryl Institute and HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN), announce "The Critical Role of Spirituality in Patient Experience," a new white paper that explores the emerging focus of spiritual care and chaplaincy in patient experience excellence and provides a core set of central themes and concepts for organizations to consider regarding spiritual care.

The white paper engages perspectives and practices of eight leading contributors and organizations across the spectrum of chaplaincy and spirituality in healthcare as they look to address and engage in this as a critical topic for action.
 
Also included is a special introduction from HCCN's Rev. George Handzo, one of the foremost authorities in the field.
 
 Download the white paper for free. At the link cick on Add Item.  Skip “Are you a Member?” and click on Checkout   The recipient information form then comes up. After you fill in the required fields on the recipient information form, input promo code HCCN_WP and click on Apply. You will receive a confirmation and link to download for free at your email address. 
and
"The Critical Role of Spirituality in Patient Experience"
 
Webcast January 19, 2016 from 2 to 3 PM Eastern Time
No charge to attend.
 
Rev. George Handzo, BCC, CSSBB
Director, Health Services Research & Qaulity
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network
Jason A. Wolf, Ph.D.
President
The Beryl Institute 
Qualifies for One Continuing Education Hour
 
Presentation Slides will be provided at the end of the webinar.
 
 
About HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™ is a global health care nonprofit organization that offers spiritual care-related information and resources, and professional chaplaincy services in hospitals, other health care settings, and online. Its mission is to advance the integration of spiritual care in health care through clinical practice, research and education in order to improve patient experience and satisfaction and to help people faced with illness, suffering and grief find comfort and meaning--whoever they are, whatever they believe, wherever they are. For more information, visit www.healthcarechaplaincy.org, call 212-644-1111, and connect with us on Twitter and Facebook.
 
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   December 2015     Issue No. 5
 
Patient-Centered Care News
We hope that you find this monthly e-newsletter informative. We have included a downloadable PDF version created for readers who prefer that format.
 
Below are short summaries of each item that has been selected, and links to the entire pieces.
 
Please feel free to send any questions or comments to comm@healthcarechaplaincy.org.
 
Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, and Happy New Year.
 
Sincerely,


 
Rev. Eric J. Hall
President & CEO
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, Inc.

Timely for This Holiday Season
 
A Short List for Grief and the Holidays (Huffington Post)
 
The Rev. Sue Wintz, a highly experienced board-certified professional chaplain and a bereaved parent writes:
 
There are two different types of grief that can occur during the holiday season. The first, and most obvious, is when a loved one dies during that time. The second is for those who have been bereaved for some time, whether it is weeks, months, or years before the current season begins. It's important to realize that while there are differences in each experience, both have the potential to become intense during the holidays, and chaplains need to be aware of how persons in either category may need support.

Writing a list of what to know when caring for grieving persons during the holidays can be endless, and many that you will find on websites, books, or other literature may be quite long. What I want to provide is a short list, the three things that both professionals, such as health care providers, co-workers, and others who know and love persons living with grief can and should keep front and center as they consider their care. 
 
Patient Experience
 
How to Create Exceptional Patient Experiences -- Without Exception (Hospital & Health Networks) 

Framing the Issue
  • Patient experience is growing in importance as a performance measure for hospitals, especially as patients become more savvy health care consumers.
  • Medicare holds back part of its reimbursement, and doesn't pay it back until the end of a payment period, based partly on HCAHPS scores.
  • Hospital leaders are using a variety of tactics to measure and improve patient experience scores.
  • Training caregivers on how to improve patient experience is critical
What Health Care Leaders Need to Do to Improve Value for Patients (Harvard Business Review)
 
More and more health care organizations are beginning to track their performance on outcomes - and they're finding that getting started isn't easy.  The change that's needed can be overwhelming. Measuring outcomes requires redesigned workflows, enhanced coordination across departments, and investment in new resources.  Above all, it requires strong resolve and adept leadership.
 
So how are today's health care leaders implementing outcomes measurement in their hospitals and clinics? Through our experience working alongside many of them, we've identified five leadership imperatives. 
What the Healthcare Industry Can Learn From Starbucks, Nordstrom and Amazon (Forbes)

Dr. David Feinberg, the president and CEO of Geisinger Health System who made headlines when his company announced a money-back guarantee for patients who are dissatisfied with their experience, suggested that the answers to healthcare's greatest issues will not come from within, but rather, other industries.
Read More
 
Palliative Care

New Competencies Address Professional Chaplains' Important role in the Delivery of Palliative Care (California State University Institute for Palliative Care and HealthCare Chaplaincy Network)
 
The consistent delivery of evidence-informed practice in any discipline of health care requires the definition of competencies that must be met. Competencies define skills and attributes that staff, from physicians to dietary aides, are expected to meet in the daily performance of their responsibilities.
 
The California State University Institute for Palliative Care and HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN) have responded to the need for evidence-informed palliative care competencies required of professional chaplains who provide palliative and end-of-life care, by defining 11 competencies as well as three levels of progression. The competencies equip organizations and chaplains with a framework to respond to the National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care Clinical Practice Guidelines, which call for a board certified chaplain to be a member of the interdisciplinary palliative care team. 
 
Components of what would become the 11 competencies influenced the development of two online professional education courses offered jointly by the two organizations: the Foundational level course Palliative Care Chaplaincy Specialty Certificate, introduced in 2013; and the Advanced level course Advanced Spirituality Practice in Palliative Care, which was introduced this year. 
   
 
 
The Evidence for Early Palliative Care in Cancer Patients (Medscape Oncology - requires creating login for free account)
 
In recent years, evidence has grown for using palliative care early in cancer patients, but it is still not incorporated as much as it should be. At the 2015 European Cancer Congress, clinicians discussed some of the challenges to integrating palliative care into oncology care.
 
According to Marie Bakitas, DNSc, associate director of the Center for Palliative and Supportive Care at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, there is plenty of evidence for the benefits of early palliative care.
 
It's Time to Talk Honestly about Dying (Washington Post)
 
Karl Lorenz, a professor of medicine at Stanford University where he serves as section chief of palliative care programs, writes:

Medicare recently proposed paying doctors for end-of-life planning, including the lengthy and repeated conversations that sometimes entails. One of the biggest oversights in end-of-life care is the need to ask patients or their families if they have had helpful end-of-life conversations. Health-care systems that do measure this tend to find significant gaps in quality, and the much larger Medicare system shouldn't let doctors off the hook. Payment might help, but simply creating more advance directives won't foster better end-of-life care unless we ensure good, high-quality discussions. 

While we need professionals who communicate well, there's plenty of evidence that doctors need not be the only ones for the job. Nurses, social workers and spiritual advisers play critical professional roles, and lay advocates are another consideration.
 
Spiritual Care

Why Doctors Need to Consider Spiritual Health (philly.com)

Christina Puchalski, M.D., who directs George Washington University's Institute for Spirituality and Health, spoke to medical students and staff at the University of Pennsylvania's medical school about how doctors who are attuned to spiritual health - what gives life meaning - can engage in a "healing relationship."...

Though doctors clearly must focus on providing good clinical care, Puchalski said knowing what mattered to patients spiritually was essential for making the best medical decisions. She used the example of an 88-year-old woman with aggressive breast cancer. Initially, she chose surgery and chemotherapy, but after a discussion about how much her independence mattered to her, she picked treatment that would better preserve her quality of life.

Puchalski's definition of spirituality goes well beyond religion. It includes whatever it is in people that makes them seek meaning, purpose, and transcendence. That might include aspects of relationships with family, society, or nature that feel significant and sacred.
 
How Chaplains Offer Comfort During "The Most Existential Moments of Our Lives" - Podcast (Interfaith Voices/Public Radio)
 
You can find them in hospitals, prisons, businesses and even Congress, serving as spiritual guides through life's most fragile moments. A new documentary, Chaplains, explores the difficult and surprising role of chaplains in all areas of life. Hear from the film's director and two of the film's chaplains, one from a Hollywood retirement home, the other from a children's hospital.
Listen to or Download the Podcast 
 
Holiday Gift Ideas
 
Cards by Anne: These hand-designed cards carry "messages that speak to the heart." Artist Anne Kertz Kernion uses calligraphy, water color and/or ink to create the beautiful artwork and philosophical sayings. Available for all types of occasions, the cards are printed on 100 percent recycled paper.
 
 
 
Chaplain Stoles: Unique and handmade, chaplain stoles made by artist Chillon Leach are the perfect item to identify yourself or another as a spiritual care provider at your institution. Inspired by nature imagery, the stoles are suitable for any spiritual and religious denomination. Each is individually designed. This is just one of the hand-painted styles.
 
 
 
 
About HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™ is a global health care nonprofit organization that offers spiritual care-related information and resources, and professional chaplaincy services in hospitals, other health care settings, and online. Its mission is to advance the integration of spiritual care in health care through clinical practice, research and education in order to improve patient experience and satisfaction and to help people faced with illness, suffering and grief find comfort and meaning--whoever they are, whatever they believe, wherever they are. For more information, visit www.healthcarechaplaincy.org, call 212-644-1111, and connect with us on Twitter and Facebook.
 
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New Competencies Address Professional Chaplains’ Important Role in the Delivery of Palliative Care

California State University Institute for Palliative Care and HealthCare Chaplaincy Network Release Palliative Care Competencies for Professional Health Care Chaplains

New York, N.Y. & San Diego, CA – December 7, 2015 The consistent delivery of evidence-informed practice in any discipline of health care requires the definition of competencies that must be met. Competencies define skills and attributes that staff, from physicians to dietary aides, are expected to meet in the daily performance of their responsibilities.

The California State University Institute for Palliative Care and HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN) have responded to the need for evidence-informed palliative care competencies required of professional chaplains who provide palliative and end-of-life care, by defining 11 competencies as well as three levels of progression. The competencies equip organizations and chaplains with a framework to respond to the National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care Clinical Practice Guidelines, which call for a board certified chaplain to be a member of the interdisciplinary palliative care team.

The 11 competencies encompass palliative care knowledge related to communication, counseling skills, teamwork and collaboration, spiritual assessment and documentation, ethics, delivery of care and continuity of care, cultural competence that incorporates inclusion and marginalized populations, care for other members of the team, and continuous quality improvement and research.

“The Palliative Care Clinical Practice Guidelines state that ‘spiritual, religious, and existential issues are a fundamental aspect of quality of life for patients with serious or life-threatening illness and their families,’” said Rev. Eric J. Hall, HCCN’s president and CEO. “These 11 competencies now define the skill set for the professional chaplain as the spiritual care specialist in palliative care.”

Helen B. McNeal, executive director of the Institute, said, “The three levels of progression identified for each of the 11 competencies demonstrate the progressively more influential skills that professional chaplains can contribute to the care of the patient, as a team member and organizational leader. Each level – Foundational, Advanced, and Expert – builds systematically upon the other.”

Components of what would become the 11 competencies influenced the development of two online professional education courses offered jointly by the two organizations: the Foundational level course Palliative Care Chaplaincy Specialty Certificate, introduced in 2013; and the Advanced level course Advanced Spirituality Practice in Palliative Care, which was introduced this year.

To date, 600 professionals have completed the Foundational course, which gets high marks. Chaplain John Valentino, Association of Clinical Pastoral Education supervisor and program coordinator of the Clinical Pastoral Education Program at Presbyterian Healthcare Services in Albuquerque, N.M., said the competencies taught in the Foundational course have had a profound impact at his institution. “One of the chaplain residents at the hospital who completed the course was assigned to the palliative care team,” he said. “Due to her constructive contributions, the lead palliative care physician requested that a qualified full-time board certified chaplain be assigned to the palliative care team.”

A participant in the Advanced course, Chaplain Linda Vogel said, “I find myself drawing wisdom from some aspect of the course on a weekly basis.  Now that is an outstanding, evidenced based outcome.”

A detailed list of the competencies and a one-page graphic summary can be found on the organizations’ websites http://csupalliativecare.org/programs/chap-competencies/ andhttp://www.healthcarechaplaincy.org/professional-continuing-education/online-certificate-courses.html).

About the California State University Institute of Palliative Care

The CSU Institute for Palliative Care offers palliative care-focused professional development and continuing education courses designed to enhance the skills of current and future healthcare professionals across the country and around the world. The Institute helps organizations and professionals achieve the palliative care skills needed to meet the growing needs of chronically or seriously ill people in all care settings.

About HealthCare Chaplaincy Network

HealthCare Chaplaincy Network is a global nonprofit organization that offers spiritual-related information and resources, and professional chaplaincy services in hospitals, other health care settings, and online. Its mission is to advance the integration of spiritual care in health care through clinical practice, research and education in order to increase patient satisfaction and help people faced with illness and grief find comfort and meaning—whoever they are, whatever they believe, wherever they are.

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   Novemeber 2015     Issue No. 4
 
Patient-Centered Care News
We hope that you find this monthly e-newsletter informative. We have included a downloadable PDF version created for readers who prefer that format.
 
Below are short summaries of each item that has been selected, and links to the entire pieces.
 
Please feel free to send any questions or comments to comm@healthcarechaplaincy.org.
 
Sincerely,


 
Rev. Eric J. Hall
President & CEO
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, Inc.
Patient Satisfaction
 
Applying a One-Size-Fits All Approach to Patient Satisfaction is a Sure-Fire Way to Fail, Experts Say (HealthLeaders Media)
 
Where a patient receives care in a hospital has a lot to do with what types of care the patient values most.
 
In inpatient settings, for instance, patients value nursing care the most. In the emergency department, overall personal safety and continuity of care are most important. For pediatric care, factors affecting patient satisfaction vary a lot depending on which department patients are in, according to a study published this month in the American Journal of Medical Quality.
 
The Complex Role of Physician-Patient Empathy
 
Examining Empathy (The Lancet)

Empathy has become a hackneyed term in medicine. It's generally understood that a physician's ability to sense and understand the feelings, thoughts, and experiences of patients is valuable in clinical encounters, but questions remain. Is it always beneficial for doctors to feel and display empathy? What happens when doctors and patients have different expectations about how and when empathy is expressed? Can empathy really be taught and learned in medical schools? Such questions will never yield to quick and easy answers.
Telehealth

Telehealth: Patient Care Via Smartphone (latimes.com)

Telehealth - using electronic information and telecommunications to support long-distance healthcare - was once primarily used by people in remote areas who might have to travel for hours to see a doctor.

But today, anybody with a smartphone can video chat with a medical professional about postpartum depression, a bout of rosacea or what's causing that sudden weight gain.

According to a study released in 2013 by market research firm IMS Research, some 1.3 million people in the U.S. will use some form of telehealth by 2017 - up from the 227,000 people who tried it in 2012.
Latest Telehealth Developments on Capitol Hill (HealthCare Chaplaincy Network)

With more health care providers adopting telehealth tools to treat patients and HealthCare Chaplaincy Network's development of two telehealth products that are the first of their kind - Spiritual Care Connect and Palliative Connect , we follow closely potential or pending legislation that will advance telehealth. This includes HCCN's participation as an Advisory Board member of the Alliance for Connected Care.

Recently the Alliance held a conference call to discuss Senate legislation being drafted by a bipartisan group including Senators Schatz (D-HI), Wicker (R-MS), Cochran (R-MS), Thune (R-SD), Warner (D-VA) and Cardin (D-MD). The legislation would establish a transitional payment for current telehealth reimbursement, explore areas to expand telehealth within hospital systems, establishes a new telehealth benefit for dialysis performed in the home and requires Medicare Advantage plans to incorporate telehealth as part of the basic Medicare Advantage benefits package.
 
Future issues of this e-newsletter will keep you apprised of this and other legislative developments relevant to patient-centered care.
 
The IDC-10 Billing Codes and Reimbursement for Spiritual Care (PlainViews.org)

Recently there has been much discussion and speculation among chaplains about the advent of ICD-10 and the fact that it contains billing codes for some spiritual interventions that chaplains do. Experts George Handzo, Lerrill White, and Sue Wintz, in this timely article, clear up misunderstandings and identify work to be done.
 
 
Now Online to Read

The new Fall 2015/Winter 2016 issue of HCCN's Caring for the Human Spirit® magazine.
In This Issue:
  • Special Section on Pediatrics
  • Let's Seat "Chief Spiritual Officers" at Decision-Making Tables
  • Disaster Chaplaincy in a World on Fire
  • The Goals of Medicine: Health or Joy? And Lessons Along The Way
  • A Snapshot of Chaplaincy Standards
  • The Chaplain Goes Virtual
  • And More....
Plus this online bonus: a video interview with Rev. Paul Nash, senior chaplain, Birmingham Children's Hospital, U.K., co-author of "Interpretive Spiritual Encounters Offer Children Space to Explore Spiritual Needs." 
Holiday Gift Ideas
 
Cards by Anne: These hand-designed cards carry "messages that speak to the heart." Artist Anne Kertz Kernion uses calligraphy, water color and/or ink to create the beautiful artwork and philosophical sayings. Available for all types of occasions, the cards are printed on 100 percent recycled paper.
 
 
 
Chaplain Stoles: Unique and handmade, chaplain stoles made by artist Chillon Leach are the perfect item to identify yourself or another as a spiritual care provider at your institution. Inspired by nature imagery, the stoles are suitable for any spiritual and religious denomination. Each is individually designed. This is just one of the hand-painted styles.
 
 
 
About HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™ is a global health care nonprofit organization that offers spiritual care-related information and resources, and professional chaplaincy services in hospitals, other health care settings, and online. Its mission is to advance the integration of spiritual care in health care through clinical practice, research and education in order to improve patient experience and satisfaction and to help people faced with illness, suffering and grief find comfort and meaning--whoever they are, whatever they believe, wherever they are. For more information, visit www.healthcarechaplaincy.org, call 212-644-1111, and connect with us on Twitter and Facebook.
 
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Los Angeles Times
November 7, 2015

Telehealth: Patient care via smartphone

By Kavita Daswani

If you can't find a doctor who makes house calls, telehealth might be an appealing option.

Telehealth — using electronic information and telecommunications to support long-distance healthcare — was once primarily used by people in remote areas who might have to travel for hours to see a doctor.

But today, anybody with a smartphone can video chat with a medical professional about postpartum depression, a bout of rosacea or what's causing that sudden weight gain.

According to a study released in 2013 by market research firm IMS Research, some 1.3 million people in the U.S. will use some form of telehealth by 2017 — up from the 227,000 people who tried it in 2012.

The American Medical Assn. favors the use of telemedicine to advance increased access, care coordination and quality, but patients should be aware of limitations of this kind of treatment, says AMA president Dr. Steven J. Stack.

"Patients should be informed about telemedicine, how it can impact their care and efforts to protect their privacy," he said. He also counsels those looking to consult with doctors via teleconferencing to "be informed about the credentials and qualifications of the physician ... [and] have access to their health records." In addition, he said, patients should be ready to be referred to see a doctor in person, if the case warrants it.

Until that face-to-face visit is called for, however, here are some ways to get non-emergency medical help:

— Maven, founded in April, bills itself as a "digital clinic for women." Download the app and you have access to 400 pediatricians, gynecologists, doulas, lactation consultants and nutritionists around the country, many available to video chat within minutes.

"The majority of healthcare decisions in the U.S. are controlled by women," said Katherine Ryder, Maven's founder and chief executive. "I wanted to create a product that would help women make healthcare decisions and give them instant access when they needed it."

Prices range from $18 for a 10-minute consultation with a nurse practitioner to $70 for a 40-minute chat with a mental health professional. Patients fill in a basic medical history online before speaking with the practitioner and then receive follow-up documentation afterward recounting what occurred during the conversation.

Ryder said that since the launch, Maven practitioners have consulted with women about concerns including postpartum depression, fertility treatments and how to jump-start a weight-loss plan.

— DermCheck was launched in July by Santa Monica dermatologist Ben Behnam. The app allows users to take photos of their acne, cold sore or rash and send it to a dermatologist for a flat fee of $39.95, which includes the consultation, diagnosis, prescription and follow-up. Cost of medication is extra.

The app can be used by people in California, New York and Florida, with more states to be added later this year.

Behnam said it is fairly easy for a doctor to determine by reviewing the initial photograph and responses to a questionnaire whether a condition needs further investigation. The company has also contracted with pharmacies to ship out the drugs a DermCheck dermatologist might prescribe.

"Our doctors have all the time in the world to stare at the multiple photos a patient sends in," said Behnam. "It's much easier to avoid the in-office chaos this way."

— Those seeking spiritual counseling — including traumatized veterans and people struggling with cancer or other life-threatening conditions — can access the 54-year-old, New York-based HealthCare Chaplaincy Network's video-chat facility free of charge. And religion has nothing to do with it, said Eric J. Hall, the network's president and chief executive.

"Chaplaincy is everything but religion," he said. "Chaplains are trained to walk into any situation — Buddhist, Muslim, someone with no belief system — and simply accept them where they are." Although chaplaincy has historically been associated with last rites, Hall said there are "numerous situations in healthcare right now where people would benefit from a listening ear. That's what healthcare is finding, across the field." Chaplains in the network have helped with situations such as an injured athlete struggling to figure out what to do next or a person newly diagnosed with a serious health condition.

The video chat "is not meant to replace a chaplain making a physical visit," said Hall. "But we have to recognize that there are numerous situations where that's just not possible. And sometimes people like talking to a stranger because there's a comfort there."

http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-heal-side-20151107-story.html 

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Schreening of Chaplain

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This "CPE Lite" training will help you strengthen your volunteer base.

Properly trained volunteers are a great resource to visit patients in hospitals and other health care facilities and at home. That's why HealthCare Chaplaincy Network has created the Chaplaincy Care Volunteer Training Manual, and many chaplains and spiritual care directors in the U.S. and elsewhere are putting it to good use.

The manual draws upon national expertise in the field of chaplaincy and volunteer management to help you train volunteers in:

  • Identifying spiritual distress
  • Communication and listening
  • Understanding the patient: including older adults and aging issues and individuals with visual or hearing impairments
  • Visitation
  • Cultural competency, spirituality, and religion
  • Death and grief
  • Confidentiality

The manual incorporates a range of teaching tools, such as practice examples, role playing exercises and reflective pieces, to ensure that different learning styles are accommodated.

Cost: Manual $35 (within the US)/$40 (outside the US)

Read more about the manual's contents and representative endorsements from volunteer trainers and to order here.

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10 selected articles covering patient experience, palliative care, spiritual care, telehealth and a physician's perspective.

HCCN-Patient-Centered-Care-e-newsletter-Oct-2015.pdf

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HealthCare Chaplaincy Recognizes Providence St. Vincent Medical Center for Excellence in Spiritual Care

Hospital Is Second in Nation to Meet National Quality Standards

 

New York, N.Y. (October 27, 2015)—HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN) today named Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, Ore., as a recipient of the nonprofit organization’s “Excellence in Spiritual Care Award.”

The award signifies that Providence St. Vincent is committed to meeting its patients’ spiritual and religious needs, and has met HCCN’s proprietary Standards of Excellence in Spiritual Care.

The hospital is the second recipient of the award, following on the heels of Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. Announcement of the award comes during National Pastoral Care Week.

HCCN’s recent introduction of the Excellence in Spiritual Care Award aligns with a growing body of research demonstrating the positive impact of spiritual care, including overall patient satisfaction and better patient quality of life near death.

“It speaks volumes for patients, families and staff that Providence St. Vincent prioritizes the integration of spiritual care into its health care practices,” said Rev. Eric J. Hall, HCCN’s president and CEO. “It is executing spiritual care in a way that other hospitals should aspire to achieve, with an eye on enhancing the patient experience and clinical outcomes.”

Fr. Freddy Ocun, AJ, director of the pastoral services department at Providence St. Vincent, said, “We are proud to be recognized by an organization that champions excellence in spiritual care. Going through the process engaged us with other departments and was a real affirmation of our ministry and interdisciplinary team collaboration. Earning this award truly shows the commitment by the medical center's leadership and caregivers to spiritual care as a component of whole-person care. We are grateful to our leadership for their support.”

The hospital, which has 523 licensed beds, is part of Providence Health & Services in Oregon, a nonprofit network of hospitals, health plans, physicians, clinics, and affiliated health services. It has 11 chaplains, a music thanatologist, and an administrative assistant in its pastoral services department.

HCCN identified the national standards of excellence based on professional literature and its 54-year history as a leader in spiritual-related clinical care, education and research. The 15 standards include employing an interdisciplinary approach to spiritual care; engaging in quality improvement projects; and the strategic deployment of chaplaincy care resources.

As part of the review process, HCCN specialists identify areas in an institution’s spiritual care program in need of improvement, provide consultation to achieve goals, and assist in more fully integrating chaplaincy services into its overall health care delivery. Currently, other health care settings nationwide are undergoing evaluation for the award.

To view infographics on the value of chaplaincy, visit www.hccninfographics.org

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HealthCare Chaplaincy to Honor Two New York Trailblazers With Lifetime Achievement Awards

NYU Langone Medical Center, EmblemHealth Awardees Touch Lives Every Day

NEW YORK, N.Y. (October 14, 2015)—James L. Speyer, M.D., professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, and Rev. Gregory L. Johnson, senior advisor for family caregiving-office of the CEO at EmblemHealth, both in New York, will each receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN) on November 5.

The nonprofit organization will present the two health care professionals with the prestigious award at its annual Wholeness of Life Gala at the Mandarin Oriental-New York.

“Dr. Speyer and Rev. Johnson stand out in the health care scene, especially in the minds and hearts of patients and their families. Each has been an innovator in their respective fields and has demonstrated a remarkable and compassionate commitment to whole-person care,” said Rev. Eric J. Hall, HCCN’s president and CEO.

Speyer is a highly-respected medical oncologist and long-time advocate for patients living with cancer. He currently serves as associate director for strategic planning, network development and public affairs at the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone; is an attending physician at NYU Langone and Bellevue Hospital Center in New York; and has authored more than 120 peer-reviewed publications.

Johnson, an ordained minister, created EmblemHealth’s Care for the Family Caregiver initiative in 2005, and, since, has been an avid advocate for family caregivers both at EmblemHealth and with multiple caregiving organizations, including the New York City Family Caregiver Coalition and the NYC chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. He also serves as minister for the prayer circle at Marble Collegiate Church in New York; volunteer chaplain for the NYPD-GOAL (Gay Officers Action League); and spiritual director at the Addiction Institute of New York.

Also at the gala, HCCN will present Patient Care Awards to a diverse group of employees for their efforts in improving the patient experience at major New York area hospitals with which HCCN is affiliated. The awardees are: David Y. Wang, M.D., director of chronic pain education and assistant attending anesthesiologist at Hospital for Special Surgery; Doreen Bacotti, clinical nurse-breast medical oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; Floyd Roundtree, a patient transporter at NYU Langone Medical Center; and Charles Thompson, supervisor of grounds at Winthrop-University Hospital.

Evidence is mounting that spiritual care is a vital component of a person’s overall well-being and is especially critical during illness and near end of life. Meeting spiritual/religious needs can improve medical outcomes and patient satisfaction, and reduce costs.

“The 2015 gala comes at a pivotal point in the world of spiritual health and in HCCN’s 54-year history,” said Hall. “While our organization continues to provide traditional bedside chaplaincy, we also have been transforming the delivery of spiritual care through technology to respond to the changing health care environment and touch more lives. It’s a concept whose time has come.”

HCCN’s new services include on-call chaplaincy, in which people in spiritual distress can connect with professional multifaith chaplains via phone, email and video chat; interactive telehealth programs in palliative care and spiritual care; and HCCN-TV spiritual care programming.

For more information about the Wholeness of Life Gala, visit www.HCCNgala.org.

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September 2015 Issue No. 3

We hope that you find this monthly e-newsletter informative. We have included a downloadable PDF version created for readers who prefer that format. Please feel free to send any questions or comments to comm@healthcarechaplaincy.org.

Sincerely,
Rev. Eric J. Hall
President & CEO
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, Inc.

 

Research

How spirituality and religion impact patient outcomes (FierceHealthcare.com)

Three new studies examine how personal beliefs influence cancer patients' physical, social and mental health. Although clinicians may be reluctant to discuss religious and spiritual beliefs with their patients, three new studies shed light on how faith can impact cancer patients' mental, social and physical well-being.

The studies, published online in Cancer, the peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, indicate there is a significant link between religion, spirituality and patient outcomes but variability on how they relate to the different aspects of health.

http://www.fiercehealthcare.com/story/how-spirituality-and-religion-impact-patient-outcomes/2015-08-142

3 Highly Visual Infographics Present Research Findings on the Benefits of Spiritual/Chaplaincy Care (HealthCareChaplaincy Network)

View and download these at http://www.healthcarechaplaincy.org/media-kit/infographics.html

Transforming Chaplaincy Project Launched: Promoting Research Literacy for Improved Patient Outcomes (funded by the John Templeton Foundation)

The project, funded by the John Templeton Foundation, with support from the APC, NACC, NAJC and ACPE, aims to equip healthcare chaplains to use research to guide, evaluate, and advocate for the daily spiritual care they provide patients, family members and colleagues. Transforming Chaplaincy has three initiatives. The project will provide: 1) Research Chaplain Fellowships to pay for 16 board-certified chaplains to complete a two-year, research-focused master's degree; 2) Curriculum Development Grants to 70 CPE programs to support incorporation of research literacy education in their residency curricula; and 3) a free Online Continuing Education course, Religion, Spirituality and Health: An Introduction to Research for members of the supporting organizations. Details about these three initiatives, including application information and timelines, are on the project website. The Calendar page lists activities that provide additional information about the Fellowships and CPE Grants. These include a webinar entitled Teaching Research Literacy in CPE, upcoming informational conference calls, and conferences and ACPE regional events where a Transforming Chaplaincy representative will be on hand to answer questions. You can sign up on the website to be on the email list to receive updates on applications and project-related events. You are also welcome to contact the project coordinator, Kathryn Lyndes, PhD, at mailto:MKathryn_Lyndes@rush.edu and 312.942.0247 for further information.

 

Palliative Care

"Tide is turning" in favor of palliative care, experts say (HealthAffairs Blog)

Two recent announcements by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) demonstrate a clear commitment to improving the quality of care for older adults with serious illnesses. Together with the introduction of a bipartisan bill to better train our nation’s health care workforce, these announcements suggest that the tide is turning in the effort to provide high-quality, patient-centered care to medically complex and seriously ill patients.

http://healthaffairs.org/blog/2015/08/06/expanding-access-to-palliative-care-services-the-tide-is-turning/3

 

Cancer

Spirituality may be tied to easier cancer course (Reuters Health)

Cancer patients who report more religiousness or spirituality may also experience fewer physical symptoms of cancer and treatment and more social connection, several new papers suggest.

The new analyses reviewed previous studies of spirituality involving more than 44,000 cancer patients altogether. The studies varied in many ways, but religion and spirituality were associated with better health regardless of specific religion or set of spiritual beliefs.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/10/us-health-cancer-religion-idUSKCN0QF1K020150810

 

Importance of End of Life Care Advance Conversations

Why Medicare should reimburse doctors for end-of-life care conversations (theconversation.com)

On July 8, Medicare announced plans to reimburse physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants for services to help their patients plan the care they would want if they were too ill to speak for themselves. If approved, the plan will take effect in January 2016. It’s about time.

I am a palliative care provider and a researcher in end-of-life care. In my experience, these kinds of services, called “advance care planning” (ACP), are incredibly valuable, especially to patients who are older and their families. My colleagues and I have found that 43% of elderly Americans require decision-making at the end of life about such things as life support and CPR. But 70% of them lack the capacity to make those decisions for themselves or to communicate them to others.

http://theconversation.com/why-medicare-should-reimburse-doctors-for-end-of-life-care-conversations-451424

Can We Talk?: People who discuss their end-of-life wishes are less likely to die in a hospital or burden relatives with tough medical decisions. Here's how to get the conversation started. (NeurologyNow)

http://journals.lww.com/neurologynow/Fulltext/2015/11040/Can_We_Talk___People_who_discuss_their_end_of_life.22.aspx

 

Patient Satisfaction

For Hospitals, Sleep And Patient Satisfaction May Go Hand In Hand (Kaiser Health News)

As hospitals chase better patient ratings and health outcomes, an increasing number are rethinking how they function at night — in some cases reducing nighttime check-ins or trying to better coordinate medicines — so that more patients can sleep relatively uninterrupted.

“Sleep disruptions are actually not benign as far as patients are concerned,” said Dana Edelson, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago and an author on the 2013 study. “We’re putting them at unnecessary risk when we’re waking them up in the middle of the night when they don’t need to be.”

And possibly making the recovery a bit more difficult.

“Patients will tell you, ‘I was so exhausted, I couldn’t wait to get home and go sleep,’” said Yale’s Pisani.

http://khn.org/news/for-hospitals-sleep-and-patient-satisfaction-may-go-hand-in-hand/?utm_campaign=KHN:+Daily+Health+Policy+Report&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=21346022&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_zam7VLyhoaGbl9Ao7Bice_S7urbIe3MWEWlJeUg2bKOkockmXfGaNOwlKwUCaa9n0QvY8oGLzxvWV011-qDzUmFM0bUDcoijDEHGUgOJNPHxiPhI&_hsmi=21346022

 

Perspectives from Physicians

Why doctors overtreat patients. And how to fix it. (KevinMD.com)

Much of the aggressive and invasive health care we provide in the United States today, compared to time-tested, more conservative approaches, adds little value. And when independent scientific comparisons are done, the more complex approach often results not only in higher costs, but also in complications and adverse effects – all without significant benefit to the patient.

  • Overtreatment explained
  • How much does an ounce of prevention really weigh?
  • How we harm the dying
  • What should we do?

http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2015/07/why-doctors-overtreat-patients-and-how-to-fix-it.html

Doctors Fail to Address Patients’ Spiritual Needs (The New York Times Well Blog)

Over the years, however, I have increasingly seen how many patients, especially when confronting the end of life, value their emotional, existential and spiritual feelings over further medical treatment when it begins to seem futile.

Eventually, my patient dying from cancer did speak with a chaplain. I noticed him visiting her one day as I walked by her door. I again spotted him two days later heading toward her door. The next morning, I thought that she looked calmer, more relieved than I’d seen her in weeks. She still had unremitting fevers and died a few months later, in that room. But the chaplain had helped her, I felt, in a way that I and medical treatment could not.

I still regret my silence with that patient, but have tried to learn from it. Doctors themselves do not have to be spiritual or religious, but they should recognize that for many patients, these issues are important, especially at life’s end. If doctors don’t want to engage in these conversations, they shouldn’t. Instead, a physician can simply say: “Some patients would like to have a discussion with someone here about spiritual issues; some patients wouldn’t. If you would like to, we can arrange for someone to talk with you.”

Unfortunately, countless patients feel uncomfortable broaching these topics with their doctors. And most physicians still never raise it.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/08/13/doctors-fail-to-address-patients-spiritual-needs/?emc=edit_tnt_20150814&nlid=26326540&tntemail0=y&_r=0

Three comments about professional chaplaincy/spiritual care were posted to the New York Times Well blog site when Dr. Klitzman’s piece was published:

Sue Wintz
Thank you so much Dr. Klitzman for writing on this very important and too often overlooked aspect of patient-centered care. As a board certified professional chaplain, I've spent over 30 years working with patients and families. I've also educated and supported physicians and other members of the health care team about important issues arising in care and treatment that would not have been addressed if not for the spiritual assessment I'd done through conversation with patients and their families. Spiritual, religious, existential, and cultural beliefs - whatever they may be - are central to how persons experience their illness, make decisions, interact with their families/families of choice and the health care team. We do them a disservice when we 6 ignore or overlook those aspects. In response to your statement that doctors say "If you would like to, we can arrange someone to talk to you" about spiritual issues." Professional chaplains are full members of the interdisciplinary team and in the hospitals in which I worked, consults and/or MD orders were made to me as they were to any other discipline. If someone appears to be experiencing spiritual distress, sometimes asking if they want to see a chaplain, especially if they don't define themselves as spiritual/religious or think that the chaplain is going to try and convert them (we don't, it's against our code of ethics) asking them that question may cause more embarrassment and distress. Just make the consult.

Jodie Futornick
I am also a professional, board certified chaplain, and I will attest that Rev. Wintz is exactly right. Chaplains are professionals with expertise in spiritual assessment and care. Our training is to accompany people on their journeys and help them to access the spiritual resources that are most helpful to them. Many people have pre-conceptions about the role of a chaplain, fearing that we come to preach or proselytize to them in their most vulnerable moments. Nothing can be farther from the truth. If a patient is, for example, a devout Catholic and wishes the sacraments of the Church, I can arrange for a priest to minister to them, but I also remain available to speak with them about the issues that are closest to their hearts and souls. Likewise, I visit with many people who profess no religious affiliation. My primary goal as a chaplain is to help people identify what gives deepest meaning to their lives and gives them the strength to face their health care challenges.

A third comment that was posted: Thanks to Dr. Klitzman for writing about this important issue, which is not only an end-of-life issue but also for patients and their loved ones who are coping with a life-changing health crisis either as an inpatient or outpatient, and wrestling with issues of spiritual distress – a painful disruption in one’s belief or values system. Spiritual distress presents itself both emotionally and physically, from rejection of care to chronic insomnia, and may or may not be grounded in religious belief or practice. Dr. Klitzman's article and some comments mention the role of chaplains, and that's good. To amplify: In addition to clergy who volunteer their services for those of their specific faith, there exist professional health care chaplains who are experts in providing spiritual care for everyone regardless of religion or beliefs. On the interdisciplinary health care team, professional chaplains are the spiritual care specialists. One becomes a professional health care chaplain when he or she is board certified by one of the professional chaplaincy associations. Requirements include graduate level study, 1600 hours of supervised clinical pastoral education, 2000 hours of clinical experience, demonstration of competencies through a rigorous peer review process, adherence to a professional code of ethics to serve all and not promote any particular faith tradition, and continuing professional education.

 

Technology

Hospitals Rev Mobile Patient Engagement (HealthLeaders Magazine)

Providers' willingness to partner with the technology industry to explore collecting personal activity-tracking information demonstrates the value of boosting patient engagement via mobile devices.

http://healthleadersmedia.com/print/TEC-319493/Hospitals-Rev-Mobile-Patient-Engagement

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HealthCare Chaplaincy Network Joins Sharecare as New Content Collaborator to Educate Consumers on Spiritual Care, Palliative Care, End of Life

Quick link to HealthCare Chaplaincy Network’s page on Sharecare.com: https://www.sharecare.com/group/healthcare-chaplaincy-network

New York, N.Y. (September 16, 2015)-- Sharecare, a comprehensive health and wellness engagement platform, and HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN), a global leader in spiritual-related education, research and clinical care, today announced that HCCN has joined Sharecare’s vibrant community of experts as a content collaborator.

Through Sharecare’s interactive platform, HCCN will provide easily-accessible and consumer-friendly information online about spiritual care, palliative care, and end of life. These topics are applicable to all disease states and all population segments, including people who are healthy or living with chronic or terminal illness.

The collaboration comes amidst growing evidence that spiritual health is a vital component of overall wellness and whole person care, and as multi-disciplinary health care providers increasingly focus on palliative care to improve quality of life for people with serious illness.

 “We are excited that Sharecare is giving HealthCare Chaplaincy Network a dynamic platform to provide education and guidance about spiritual care, palliative care, and end-of-life care. This information can help facilitate critical conversations among patients, family members, and health care providers, and empower individuals to better manage their care, and find hope, comfort and meaning during times of need,” said Eric J. Hall, HCCN’s president and CEO.

HCCN’s presence on Sharecare expands access to the nonprofit organization’s experts and resources, and builds on its recent efforts to extend the reach of spiritual care beyond the traditional hospital bedside. HCCN content posted on Sharecare addresses practical, spiritual and emotional issues, including advance directives, palliative and hospice care, spiritual distress, the role of chaplains, finding comfort near end of life, and grief. It links to HCCN’s online resources for consumers (www.soulcareproject.org, such as free counseling by professional, multi-faith chaplains, prayer requests, and spiritual self-assessment tools and exercises.

“When faced with illness, suffering or the grief that surrounds the death of a loved one, many people need advice not only about end-of-life care but also spiritual guidance, regardless of their beliefs," said Russ Johannesson, chief operating officer of Sharecare. "We are honored to add the HealthCare Chaplaincy Network to our family of content partners to provide our users with the knowledge, expertise and compassion the organization has provided to so many for more than 50 years.”

Recognition of the importance of spiritual care’s integration into health care is on the rise.  “Dying in America,” a 2014 consensus report by the nationally-acclaimed Institute of Medicine, found that, “Ideally, health care should harmonize with social, psychological and spiritual support to achieve the highest possible quality of life for people of all ages with serious illnesses or injuries.”

A number of research studies show that the majority of Americans say that spirituality, in some form, should be an important consideration in their health care. Yet one study showed that 72 percent of patients said their spiritual needs were minimally or not at all supported by the medical system even though spiritual support was highly associated with quality of life.

Visit HealthCare Chaplaincy Network’s page on Sharecare.com at: https://www.sharecare.com/group/healthcare-chaplaincy-network

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"Advanced Spirituality Practice in Palliative Care Certificate" Course Starts Sept. 30th.  Click here for more information and to register.

New Course Created Due to Popular Demand...

...from the more than 400 satisfied students who asked for more after completing the online fundamentals course The Palliative Care Chaplaincy Specialty Certificate offered jointly by the California State University Institute for Palliative Care and HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™.

"Advanced Spirituality Practice in Palliative Care Certificate" Course

This advanced course explores specific topics in an in-depth manner that requires participants to engage in deeper critical thinking which can be articulated into advanced practice, enhancing professional practice and leadership in the provision of spiritual care as an integral component of palliative care.

Students Say:

"This is another outstanding course with excellent resources and rich discussion. I highly recommend this course to professionals who wish to expand their spiritual care and palliative care practice."

Learning Objectives:

  1. Integrate knowledge of palliative care into contributions to the plan of care
  2. Distinguish and demonstrate application of ways in which chaplains assist patients and families, in partnership with the team, in identifying the benefits and burdens of specific medical interventions
  3. Demonstrate and apply expertise in palliative care communication skills to assist in goal clarification in patient/family meetings
  4. Through spiritual assessment, define, document, formulate goals, interventions, and plans that can be articulated clearly in each palliative care situation, applied appropriately, and modified based on changes in the status of patient or situation
  5. Utilize QI data to refine palliative care programs and services specific to chaplaincy.
  6. Identify, recommend, and integrate diversity concepts, needs, and interventions into patient/family care plan.
  7. Analyze the needs and construct assessments and interventions specific to marginalized patient populations
  8. Identify and execute best practices for incorporating chaplaincy assessment and documentation planning/continuity of care

This Course Is For:

  • Chaplains who have completed the Palliative Care Chaplaincy Care Certificate course who want to build upon that knowledge base and continue to develop their skills to improve patient outcomes
  • Board certified chaplains wishing to enhance preparation for a specialty certification from a professional chaplaincy association
  • Department directors who meet the course requirements and desire to build upon the expertise and contributions of the palliative care team

Course Prerequisites:

Successfully completed the foundational course: Palliative Care Chaplaincy Specialty Certificate

OR

Obtained Board certification from a professional chaplaincy association

Registration Now Open for Course Starting September 30th

  • Instructor-Led Online Course
  • 56 Continuing Education Hours

Questions? Please call: 760-750-4006.

 

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