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On behalf of the board of directors of HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, our staff and our supporters ----  I am announcing the formation of the Spiritual Care Association.
 
The Spiritual Care Association (SCA) is the first multidisciplinary, international professional membership association of this expanse and magnitude for all types of spiritual care providers. It establishes for the first time evidence-based quality indicators, scope of practice, and a knowledge base for spiritual care in health care.
 
As health care providers emphasize the delivery of positive patient experience, the Spiritual Care Association has been established to lead the way to educate, certify, credential and advocate. Its goal is for more people in need, regardless of religion, beliefs, or cultural identification, to receive effective spiritual care in all types of institutional and community settings in the U.S. and internationally.
 
Simply put, SCA's vision is Making Spiritual Care a Priority.
 
I encourage you to find the text and the video recording of the entire formal announcement of the Spiritual Care Association at www.healthcarechaplaincy.org.

And please explore the SCA website at www.SpiritualCareAssociation.org.
I welcome your comments via email at comm@healthcarechaplaincy.org.
 
Sincerely,

Rev. Eric J. Hall
President & CEO
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network and Spiritual Care Association
 
 
 
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™ (HCCN), founded in 1961, 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 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, follow us on Twitter or connect with us on Facebook
The Spiritual Care Association (SCA) is the first multidisciplinary, international professional membership association for spiritual care providers that establishes evidence-based quality indicators, scope of practice, and a knowledge base for spiritual care in health care. As health care providers emphasize the delivery of positive patient experience,  SCA is leading the way to educate, certify, credential and advocate so that more people in need, regardless of religion, beliefs or cultural identification, receive effective spiritual care in all types of institutional and community settings in the U.S. and internationally.  SCA is committed to serving its multidisciplinary membership and growing the chaplaincy profession. For more information, visit www.SpiritualCareAssociation.org, call 212-644-1111, follow on Twitter or connect on Facebook and LinkedIn. The nonprofit SCA is an affiliate of HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™ with offices in New York and Los Angeles.
 
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network & The Spiritual Care Association, 65 Broadway, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10006-2503
Sent by news@healthcarechaplaincy.org in collaboration with
Constant Contact
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The Rev. Dr. Walter J. Smith, S.J., was my predecessor as president and CEO of HealthCare Chaplaincy, serving in that role from 1991 to 2013. In 2012, in recognition of his contributions to the field, the COMISS Network (The Network on Ministry in Specialized Settings) honored Walter with its highest recognition - the COMISS Medal. On that occasion, Walter declared a call to action for professional chaplaincy (see his complete address below).  To highlight two excerpts: 
  • "The current system in professional chaplaincy is not sustainable and we must develop and embrace a different mode ...Without an empirical base that validates the outcomes of their professional work, chaplaincy as a profession will remain on the margin of health care, and not be able to justify further investment of limited health care dollars to support its professional endeavors."
     
  •  "Despite many good efforts, chaplaincy still lacks an organized, strong, united, proactive and representative national voice.  Chaplaincy as a field is not a significant professional participant in the national health care policy debate, nor does it have an appropriate and sustained lobbying presence with those who are playing key roles in shaping the future of American health care.  Chaplains have to be at the table and speaking persuasively if their contributions are to be understood and included as the health care landscape is being re-engineered."
Walter had delivered this message in previous years. So had other thought leaders in the professional chaplaincy field. The problem as I see it is they still do today.  The same message.  The same concerns.  Why when there is so much that can be getting done?

Very recently, we've seen the emergence of evidence-based quality indicators and scope of practice - the work of two distinguished international panels of experts convened by HCCN. These evidence-based criteria are a vital start. (Details here.)
 
But not enough has been done to strengthen the health care chaplaincy profession.  Not enough has been done to support chaplains in their role.
Not enough has been done to advocate for the profession.
 
There is much more to accomplish. Now is the time to make spiritual care a priority.

I welcome your comments.  Please send to comm@healthcarechaplaincy.org.
 
Sincerely,

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

 
COMISS NETWORK FORUM ADDRESS
Alexandria, Virginia
8 January 2012
The Rev. Walter J. Smith, S.J., Ph.D.
President & CEO
HealthCare Chaplaincy
New York City
Last month in New York City, I participated in some unrelated events and meetings in an iconic building on Fifth Avenue, which is the landmarked home of the New York Academy of Medicine. 
 
During the early period of its venerable one hundred sixty-five year history, the Academy of Medicine was an enclave principally of male physicians and surgeons, who eventually-at the turn of the twentieth century-found their way to admit women to their fellowship, and even more recently, to recruit and elect colleagues from the other health professions. 
 
About fifteen years ago, I was elected a Fellow of this prestigious body, which currently is engaged in a number of cross-disciplinary leadership projects that seek to create environments in cities that support healthy aging; strengthen systems that prevent disease and promote public health; and eliminate health disparities.
 
Each of the meetings in which I participated in the Academy's building was focused on an intensely collaborative endeavor of civic engagement, health advocacy or health policy reform.  Even though the agendas and outcomes of each of these gatherings were different, they all underscored for me a critical common reality: every important initiative today-whether public or private-relies for its success on an ability to engage the knowledge, experience and effective collaboration of people from diverse professions and academic disciplines. 
 
These working meetings convened at the New York Academy of Medicine reinforced my belief in the necessity to foster and sustain effective collaborations and served as a catalyst for my thinking as I was formulating these reflections for the annual gathering of representatives of the Council on Ministry in Specialized Settings (COMISS). 
 
When COMISS was established in 1979, its founding vision was to become the preeminent network for professional organizations, institutions and faith communities.  It aspired to increasingly promote and support collaboration among its members and be a forceful advocate and collective voice for five distinct, but interrelated groups: 
 
(1) Professional chaplaincy and pastoral counseling certifying organizations;
 
(2) Professional chaplaincy and pastoral counseling accrediting organizations; 
 
(3) Religious judicatories that provide endorsement for chaplains and pastoral counselors to perform ministry in specialized settings; 
 
(4) Professional pastoral care and educational organizations, and lastly;
 
(5) Chaplain and pastoral care counselor employing organizations, like HealthCare Chaplaincy,  which I represent, that utilize the services of chaplains or pastoral counselors certified by one of the certifying member organizations of the COMISS Network.  
Now, at the dawn of 2012 - some thirty-three years later - we gather to consider the topic: "Professional and Practical: Engaging Pastoral and Spiritual Care Resources."  In offering these observations and personal reflections, I do not intend to be either contentious or confrontational, but to speak candidly and constructively-from the perspective of my own experience-about the serious problems, both professional and practical, that the fields of chaplaincy and pastoral counseling are facing.
 
For much of its modern history, chaplaincy and pastoral counseling have virtually been the domains of solo practitioners, who effectively have been "going it alone."  It wasn't until 1946 that chaplains began to associate themselves together professionally, and then, as you know, chaplains tended to organize themselves by faith traditions and service specialties. These organizational structures have had the secondary effect of reinforcing fragmentation and progressively weakening the collective voice of these helping professions.
 
Over the past sixty-six years, chaplains and pastoral counselors have continually struggled to be recognized, respected and compensated as bona fide health care professionals.  Chaplaincy and pastoral counseling membership associations, which were initially established to foster a sense of identity and accountability to peers, have grown into well-organized professional groups that are more collaborative than competitive.  Yet, despite the rhetoric, covenants and strategic planning that have dominated the professional landscape during the past quarter century, professional chaplaincy and pastoral counseling still have not achieved emancipation from the historical shackles that have obstructed their growth as spiritual care helping professions.
 
More obvious barriers that tend to divide groups- including issues of gender, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation and religious affiliation-are being confronted, and the pastoral and chaplaincy care professions are seeking better ways to collaborate and utilize their limited economic resources to support common strategic interests. 
 
But other obstacles to the realization of the expansive vision that gave birth to COMISS more than three decades ago remain significant deterrents.  I would like to reflect on some of the more neuralgic issues that impede progress and development within our professions.
 
I will focus the remainder of this discussion on the field of professional health care chaplaincy, although these observations may apply and be relevant to the other cognate spiritual and pastoral care professions and subspecialties as well.
 
Looking specifically at the health chaplaincy care profession in America, I find it personally disappointing that after more than a decade since our important conjoint meetings in Toronto in 2000, the major national chaplaincy associations in North America have not found an effective and sustainable way to operationally merge their related missions and purposes and pool their dwindling fiscal resources, governance and executive leadership. 
 
In an article published in a national news journal ["Collaborative Efforts Can Save Money And Improve Care," Kaiser Health News, Jan 5, 2012], a couple of quotes caught my eye.  The first was from a vice president of a national alliance of 200 health systems that are focused on performance improvement:  "It all starts when leaders in a community say the current system is not sustainable and we've got to find a different model."
 
The current system in professional chaplaincy is not sustainable and we must develop and embrace a different model.  Chaplaincy still has not been able to remove certain roadblocks to its collaboration and growth as a unified profession.  A second quotation in the Kaiser Health News article states the problem even more succinctly:  "There are still many obstacles to such partnerships.  It's often difficult to get traditional competitors and antagonists to collaborate, including sharing proprietary medical and financial data."   
 
While I would not like to say that Association of Professional Chaplains (APC) and the National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC) and the National Association of Jewish Chaplains (NAJC)  and the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) are traditional competitors or antagonists, but as of yet, they have not felt the crisis urgently enough to put aside self-interests and realize that a single, consolidated, stronger, national organization will serve their members and the profession far more effectively.
 
While some encouraging and commendable progress has been made during the past decade in important areas, including the development and ratification of standards for certification, ethics and professional practice, these national membership organizations still struggle to maintain their own independent identities and cultures, as well as to fund and staff costly and redundant infrastructures. 
 
Despite many good efforts, Chaplaincy still lacks an organized, strong, unified, proactive and representative national voice.   Chaplaincy as a field is not a significant professional participant in the national health care policy debate, nor does it have an appropriate and sustained lobbying presence with those who are playing key roles in shaping the future of American health care.  Chaplains have to be at the table and speaking persuasively if their contributions are to be understood and included as the health care landscape is being re-engineered.
 
The professional chaplaincy organizations are being forced to invest much of their shrinking financial and human resources in maintaining essential operating structures and programs, with limited additional and necessary funds to strategically invest in growing chaplaincy as a profession. 
 
Let me offer one brief example. Even though these organizations worked diligently to develop and ratify common certification standards that define the skills that a professional health care chaplain must possess, these certifying bodies have not sponsored any subsequent research to validate these standards against chaplaincy outcomes and performance measures.  Without a credible body of research to support it, standards like these will accomplish little in advancing chaplaincy as a profession.  Professional chaplaincy today still lacks the models and methods on which to build a strong empirical foundation that will help define what chaplains do and  measure how successful are their interventions. 
 
Professional health care chaplaincy's strengths over the past half century have been concentrated in two principal areas, one clinical, the other educational: (1) to provide care at the bedside; and, (2) to develop a content-informed, progressive experiential learning educational paradigm (i.e., Clinical Pastoral Education), which continues to serve as the foundational educational paradigm by which all aspiring professional chaplains are prepared for certification and practice.  
 
Turning attention briefly to the first of these strengths-clinical pastoral care-it fair to say that much of current chaplaincy care practice remains intuitive and insufficiently documented.  The chaplain, as a solo practitioner, enters patients' worlds with the desire to help individuals to make sense of and find meaning in what they are experiencing.   The chaplain comes to this task with a reasonably sufficient training and experience, but only exceptionally equipped with theories or methods to critically assess the effectiveness of what he or she actually says or does in the clinical setting. 
 
Generally speaking, many chaplains affirm anecdotally that their interventions do seem to help patients to create or modify their own existential and/or theological "models" and to better understand and accept what is happening to them as a result of an illness, disability or aging.   But, in general, chaplaincy practice issues are not routinely subjected to the rigors of scientific inquiry because most chaplains have been insufficiently trained or encouraged to research these kinds of questions themselves.
 
Remedying this deficiency does not seem to be on the national agenda of their membership organizations, for good and explainable reasons.  But without an empirical base that validates the outcomes of their professional work, chaplaincy as a profession will remain on the margin of health care, and not be able to justify further investment of limited health care dollars to support its professional endeavors.
 
This brings me, finally, to what I consider one of the most exigent challenges facing chaplaincy as a health care profession.   As noted earlier, the educational paradigm common to the professional formation of every board-certified chaplain is Clinical Pastoral Education.  While broadly encouraging personal growth and developing a useful set of helping skills  for future chaplains, the CPE curriculum does not prepare the same chaplain-in-training to assess the effectiveness of what he or she may do in the clinical setting or to plan and conduct studies and evaluate the data of qualitative and/or quantitative research.  
Few CPE supervisors (chaplaincy care educators) possess quantitative or qualitative research skills or have sufficient research experience to be able to teach these basic skills to others. Research needs to become a standard part of the CPE curriculum, and resources need to be invested to help CPE supervisors and board-certified chaplains acquire and/or strengthen their research skills.
 
A recent comprehensive literature review, funded by the John Templeton Foundation and completed by HealthCare Chaplaincy (HCC) under the Reverend George Handzo's leadership is currently available on HCC's website.
 
This exhaustive review has identified the substantial gaps that exist in understanding what chaplains do and the knowledge on which their practice is based, and how a chaplain's clinical judgment is formed and tested. This report underscores the need for basic research to explore the way in which chaplain practice protocols may be developed and maintained and to investigate the relationships among chaplaincy care protocols, clinical judgment and accountability.
 
These deficits in contemporary chaplaincy practice and education are intensified in a contemporary healthcare culture that requires all professional disciplines to document and assess of the outcomes of every intervention.  Chaplaincy care is no longer immune from this requirement, even though we believe that what we provide is high-quality care.  Without an ability to reliably document what we do and how we assess the outcomes, the professional work of chaplains will remain occult and underappreciated for its essential value to patients and their loved ones.  Without developing matrices and testing measures, chaplaincy as a health care profession will further weaken and continue to be marginalized.
 
From my vantage point of a half century as a Jesuit behavioral scientist engaged in clinical, academic and nonprofit managerial ministries, I would venture to assert that health care chaplaincy, as a professional discipline, may be as aligned to  medicine,  nursing and social work as it is to its many spiritual and religious roots.   And I further believe that by assisting chaplains and chaplain educators to better understand and embrace the functional relationships chaplaincy shares with the other cognate health professions will accelerate the development more integrated and effective approaches to multidisciplinary care. 
 
At HealthCare Chaplaincy, we are currently in engaged in shared efforts to help reform our national health care policies.  We also believe that professional chaplaincy care may play a pivotal role in promoting quality decision-making by patients and their loved ones than any other input source on the healthcare team.  If this assumption is validated, chaplaincy may come to be understood as an optimal discipline to help rationalize medical spending and improve patient satisfaction-two not inconsequential outcomes in managing the economics of health care today and tomorrow.
 
For these and other reasons, with a $3 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation, we are working together with chaplains and other experienced social and behavioral science researchers over the next two and a half years to expand research capacity within the field of professional chaplaincy.  
 
We hope that through these initiatives and partnerships we will stimulate development of a consensus model or models that will help test conceptual and practice-based assumptions about health care chaplaincy (with a particular focus on palliative care) and enable future researchers (chaplains and others) to build on and further advance what these seminal efforts can be expected to achieve. 
 
Our objective is to select the best or most interesting research projects from among those submitted for review and to support those investigators, particularly professional chaplains, who will best advance the nascent field of health care chaplaincy.
 
What distinguishes this grant-making cycle from others are two important assumptions:  (1) this is a field-defining and field-changing initiative; and (2) we are looking to enable and support the skills development of an emerging group of chaplain-researchers who will form the core of a sustainable generation of researchers to lead and advance the field of professional chaplaincy.
 
Let me conclude this reflection by returning to my beginning.   For far too long, chaplaincy historically has "gone it alone," and has suffered greatly from its fragmentation and isolation.   As a profession, health care chaplaincy remains under-resourced and insufficiently equipped to describe what it does and measure the effectiveness of its clinical practices. 
 
The profession possesses a rich anecdotal collective experience that supports the conviction that spirituality matters in the organization and delivery of healthcare.  Bolstered by a unified national leadership and a solid research foundation and growing body of meaningful data, professional chaplains and the membership organizations that support them, will be able to speak in more compelling ways.  Finally, if their representatives can find a way to consolidate their organizations and resources, professional chaplains will have a single, strong and articulate voice to speak for them.  They will be able to demonstrate the effectiveness of their contributions with evidence-based best practices.
 
In the end, as members of multidisciplinary care teams, professional chaplains will have earned their rightful place as champions and guarantors of fully integrative care.
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, 65 Broadway, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10006-2503
Sent by news@healthcarechaplaincy.org in collaboration with
Constant Contact
 
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One of the highest viewed websites for medical professionals, KevinMD.com, has published this important call-to-action for the field of spiritual care: "Why Health Care Leaders Should Take a Fresh Look at the Chaplaincy Profession."


Find it at this link.

Please share it with your network and comment on the article.

Sincerely,

 



 

Rev. Eric J. Hall

President & CEO

HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, Inc.

 

 

 

 

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POSTED: Urban Health Matters Blog by Rev. Eric J. Hall

Eric J. Hall is the president and CEO of HealthCare Chaplaincy Network and a member of the Academy’s Age-friendly New York City Commission.

Most of us easily talk about our wishes related to the good things in life: a wish for a child to be the first family member to graduate college, for a granddaughter to marry the love of her life, for yourself to rise in your career and make an impact on health care, the environment, or whatever your passion is. While we may not shout these aspirations from the rooftops, typically we don’t keep them to ourselves either.

Why, then, are so many of us silent when it comes to relaying our wishes about the harsher side of life: sickness, death and dying? This is a silence that can cause unnecessary pain … a silence that can come back to haunt us and our loved ones … a silence that restricts your voice from being heard when it needs to be heard the most.

I’m sure we all know of situations like this. A husband emerges from an unsuccessful surgery, with feeding tubes and breathing tubes, and a distraught wife has no idea if this is how he would want to continue living. A grandmother with Alzheimer’s disease never expressed her care preferences when cognitively able. Or a single father codes after a car accident, leaving his children with no idea whether he would want to be resuscitated.

April 16, 2016 is National Healthcare Decisions Day—a day to shine the spotlight on the value of advance health care planning. It’s all about inspiring, educating and empowering the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning. It’s about giving thought to important choices -- from stating the type of care you want or don’t want, to appointing someone to make medical decisions for you, to drawing up a will. It’s about getting input, if desired, from loved ones, clergy, health care chaplains, doctors, elder law attorneys, and others.

But most of all it’s about taking a deep look at your beliefs, your values, your goals, your priorities—and shaping your health care decisions accordingly. Ultimately, what do youwant when you’re ill or nearing death?  I remember one bereaved caregiver after struggling with her spouse’s decision to stop intensive cancer treatments declaring that it all comes down to this: “It’s the patient choice.  It’s the patient’s decision.” That’s what advance planning does—it gives the patient the choice, the decision, and it gives loved ones the knowledge for them and health care providers to honor those wishes.

This isn’t the kind of conversation you normally have over a bowl of pasta or chicken soup.  It’s likely not in your comfort zone. But it’s the very kitchen table discussion everyone should have in advance of a crisis. It’s never too early to talk about treatment and care plans. It’s never too early to think about what you want at the end of life. It’s never too early to prepare essential legal and financial documents. These are authentic conversations. They are not only practical; they can be emotionally and spiritually healing.  As one estate attorney said, “It will give you peace of mind, and you’re giving your family a gift by making your wishes known to them in advance.

I recall one elderly congregant who gave her family such a gift. She always told her children she didn’t want them to see her suffer at the end, like she had witnessed with her own mother. She tasked her son with making sure she would not be kept alive artificially, and she provided her daughter with the precise financial and funeral information. Every six months or so, this mom would remind her kids where she had her advance care documents—in the metal box in the back of her clothes closet. Despite the pain of their mother’s death, her children felt blessed that their mom’s candor and preparedness eased the stress and potential for family strive  -and enabled her to die with dignity.

On April 16, National Healthcare Decisions Day, or any day, make your voice heard. Just like our choices define our life, just like we want quality of life, our choices can define our death and give us quality of death – on our terms.

For more information about advance care planning, visit the American Bar Association. To learn more about healthy aging, visit Age-friendly New York City

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   March 2016     Issue No. 8
 
Patient-Centered Care News
We hope that you find this complimentary monthly e-newsletter informative. Below are short summaries of each selected item with links to the entire pieces. 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.
A Patient Writes About Patient-Centered Care

Why Doctors Must Learn From a Patient's Perspective (kevinmd.com)
 
It is critical that medical professionals receive continuing medical education in empathy training, patient-centered care, and patient harm prevention...

With all the new patient-centered care buzzwords flying around, I am shocked to learn that this topic is still being marginalized. If we truly want to put patients in the center of care, we must learn from a patient's perspective. As a life-long chronic patient, I embrace the digital advancements we've seen in medicine. Yet, all the technology in the world can't make up for human empathy. Now more than ever, we must give credence to the patient's voice.

Read more


Physician Empathy a Key Driver of Patient Satisfaction

New Study Supports Enhanced Physician-Patient Communication Training (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons)

A study presented at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), links patient-perceived physician empathy with improved outcomes and medical care satisfaction.

Read more 

 
Spiritual/Chaplaincy Care
 
Chaplains are Health Care's Undiscovered Assets (Huffington Post) 
 
Chaplain services are clearly an essential component of quality whole person care - body, mind and spirit - a concept that is increasingly becoming a fundamental part of health care, especially in palliative care for the chronically ill. However, it is often an undiscovered asset by those receiving health care. In fact, studies show, many more inpatients desire conversations about religion/spirituality than have them.
 
So, the first challenge is that patients and their families need to become familiar with the concept; they need to know that they can request a chaplain, if they so desire, just like they might ask to see a social worker, a physical therapist, or a disease specialist. They need to become their own advocates for spiritual care.
 
In addition, there's even greater challenges in our health care system. Medicare only covers chaplain services in hospice. Not all interdisciplinary health care teams include chaplains. Those that do are more likely to understand the role and recognize the value. They see that a chaplain's presence provides an opportunity to communicate findings/recommendations into a treatment plan, and increases the likelihood of considering the patient as a whole.
 
As well, physicians, nurses and other interdisciplinary team members have marginal exposure to spiritual care training. Yes, chaplains are the spiritual care specialists, but spiritual care cannot be their domain alone. We've got to teach people from all types of medical disciplines how to listen and engage people comfortably and care for them spiritually and emotionally.
 
Read more 
 
 
Evidence-based Scope of Practice for Spiritual Care (ehospice International e-newsletter)

HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN) has released the first evidence-based scope of practice, or set of competencies, for professional chaplaincy, giving spiritual care specialists, other providers and administrators a framework in which to provide quality spiritual care in healthcare settings in the US. The scope of practice was developed was developed by a consensus panel convened by HCCN and composed of prominent experts in spiritual care, palliative care and other disciplines from the US and abroad.
 
The recommendations build on HCCN's release last month of the first comprehensive evidence-based quality indicators for spiritual care, and suggested metrics and measures for each. The 18 indicators include reducing spiritual distress, increasing client satisfaction and facilitating meaning-making for clients and family members.
 
 

Strides in Spiritual Care - New quality indicators aim to better meet spiritual needs (nursingadvanceweb.com) 
 
"Much research has been able to be pulled together in this quality indicators report so that we're now able to see the change and understand the impact that spiritual care does provide to individuals, families and institutions," explained Eric Hall, president and CEO of HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, who was the driving force behind publication of the quality indicators. "What we have now is an understanding that spiritual care does reduce spiritual distress and facilitates meaning."...
 
"American healthcare is measured on value. It's not how many patients you help, but what the outcomes are for these patients," further explained Hall. "If you work on delivering these outcomes with a more focused approach, good things will happen for patients and in terms of caregiver satisfaction." 
 
Research is an essential mark of any clinical profession and patient satisfaction, and the quality of research denotes a discipline's development. So, while research on chaplaincy services has spanned nearly a half century, its continuation and advancement helps project spiritual care into a future offering more comprehensive services.

Read more 

 
Pediatric Bereavement Education for Those Who Deliver Palliative and Hospice Care

(From ehospice USA e-newsletter from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization)
 
A new edition of the pediatric hospice and palliative care e-journal produced by NHPCO's Children's Project on Hospice/Palliative Services in now available.
"Bereavement and Care, Part One" is the topic for the new edition of the ChiPPS E-journal, available free of charge on the NHPCO website.
This E-Journal offers a collection of articles that explore selected issues in bereavement and care. These articles offer suggestions for and examples of engaging in the important work of providing pediatric palliative/hospice care.

Read more

 
 
Making ICU's Less Terrifying and More Humane

(From bostonglobe.com)
 
For many patients, time spent in an intensive care unit is a deeply disturbing experience, and not just because they are suffering from a serious illness. They are often heavily sedated, encircled by beeping equipment, unable to talk or even think clearly. Doctors and nurses prod their bodies as scores of trainees watch.
 
"I could feel people touching me but I couldn't move,'' said Ashleigh Robert, 30, who spent three weeks in the ICU at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston awaiting a liver transplant. "It was extremely frightening."
 
Medical advances such as heart pumps and ventilators have led to more ICU survivors. About 80 percent of the 5 million patients who end up in intensive care each year return home. But there is a growing realization that many are left emotionally troubled by the experience, which can be marred by hallucinations, poor communication, lack of respect for privacy, and, later, post-traumatic stress syndrome.
 
Now, a group of leading hospitals, including Beth Israel Deaconess, is working to make the ICU less terrifying and more humane, using innovative tools such as iPad applications that feature patient biographies and journals kept by nurses.

Read more 

 
A Physician Writes About Patient-Centered Care

Why Doctors Care About Happiness (NY Times Well blog)

We in the health care professions need to notice and inquire about happiness the same way we do other aspects of our patients' lives. Lately I've started asking about it, and besides getting a much more nuanced understanding of who they are as people, I learn what their priorities are (often quite different from mine as their physician).
 
I also inquire about obstacles to their happiness, and brainstorm with them on ways to ease some of these. I don't presume that these challenges are facile to solve, but hopefully our conversation helps let patients know that their happiness matters as much as their cholesterol.
 
And if increasing happiness does in fact improve health - well, why not try to help our patients achieve it. The side effect profile and cost surely beat most of our current medications, and, at least for now, you don't have to get prior authorization from an insurance company.

Read more 
 
 
Advanced Care Planning

National Healthcare Decisions Day is April 16, 2016 (www.nhdd.org)

Its purpose is to inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning.

Read more

 
Two Professional Education Opportunities
The first is for all who provide spiritual care - Nurses, Chaplains, Clergy, Social Workers, Physicians and More:
April 11-13, 2016 - Live Webcast from the Annual
Caring for the Human Spirit ® Conference
Obtain over 60 hours of the latest research and clinical experience information for the Interdisciplinary
Health Care Team for $800. 
Benefits:
  • No limit to the number of participants at your institution who can view content
  • Real-time access to the 3-day Go-To Conference on Spiritual Care.
  • Access to our conference App, which includes the slides presentations for all activities
  • Interact with speakers & presenters as well as other conference participants
  • Earn valuable CEU's for your participants.
  • Consider splitting the cost across multiple departments in your organization
  • Multidisciplinary team professional development for current and future staff
  • After the conference you will receive ALL of the conference content:
    • Keynote Address
    • Four Plenaries
    •  36 Workshops!
New Workshops Have Been Added (for no additional cost):
B7 - Dealing with Hope and Prognosis in Palliative Care: The Role of the Chaplain
E4 - Care for the Hispanic-Latino Patient: A Culturally Competent Approach
D6 - Caring for the Spirit: Can You Hear Me Now!?
F6 - What is Spiritual Care in Health Care and How do you Measure it?*
* (Added by Popular Demand)

Prefer to attend in person?

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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.
The second professional education opportunity:
 
Are You a Member of the Palliative Care Team? Some seats are still available for the April 20th class start of the popular online professional continuing education course - Palliative Care Chaplaincy Specialty Certificate. More than 600 professionals have competed the course and say it significantly improved their practice.
 
 
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™ (HCCN), founded in 1961, 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 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, follow us on Twitter or connect with us on Facebook
 
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, 65 Broadway, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10006-2503
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