November 2016  Issue No. 15
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

May you enjoy a Thanksgiving holiday filled with the goodness of friends and family.

Rev. Eric J. Hall
President & CEO
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network & Spiritual Care Association
We're Giving Back on #GivingTuesday
 (November 29) and You Can Benefit 
Caring for the Human Spirit® Conference 
March 13-15, 2017 | Chicago, IL.
is November 29, and HealthCare Chaplaincy 
wants to give back!
On Tuesday, November 29, anyone who registers for our 
annual Caring for the Human Spirit Conference  
will automatically receive 10% off.
This discount will be available only on November 29 and will expire at midnight.
We look forward to seeing you at our conference!
Click here to learn more about the conference.
Advice From the Head of a Major Public Hospital System
Ramanathan Raju, MD, MBA, FACS, FACHE is President & Chief Executive Officer of NYC Health + Hospitals, the largest public health care system in the U.S. He recently spoke at the World Economic Forum, and what he posted on Twitter is a good reminder for every health care provider. Dr. Raju said, "We must continue the proactive shift to value, which differs for each patient. Don't ask 'What is the matter?' ask 'What is the matter to you?"
Spirituality & Health Care

Hospice Chaplain Reflects on Life, Death and the "Strength of The Human Soul" (NPR)
Kerry Egan's job is to help dying people accept their own mortality. It's profoundly sad, but it's also rewarding. "I'm constantly reminded of ... how much love people have for each other, and the love that's all around us that we just don't necessarily take a moment to see," she says.
A MD Writes: Should Doctors be Allowed to Bring Their Religion to Work? (Quartz)
Yesterday, I stubbed my toe on an IV pole. Though not uncommon for someone working in a hospital like myself, this particular IV pole was located not in a cancer ward, but in a synagogue-the synagogue that is part of our hospital.
While living in the US, I expected church to be separate from state. Most US citizens regard religious liberty as a core value guaranteed by their country's Constitution. Although in practice that may not always be the case, conceptually, this is the American way.
When I moved from Philadelphia to Tel Aviv 19 years ago, however, I realized things were different. As there is no separation of church-er, synagogue-and state in the deeply Jewish nation of Israel, I've since given up the inviolable principle of religious liberty. Today, I reside in a country where religion is inserted into government as well as life in general.
Patient Experience

A Patient's Advice on How to Improve the Patient Experience (KevinMD)
Every patient has a story and an experience, and my patient experience began on July 6, 2004.

One month after graduating from high school, I was involved in a near-fatal car accident. My heart shifted across my chest, lungs collapsed, major organs were either lacerated or failed completely, my pelvis was shattered, and I lost 60 percent of my blood. I was airlifted to shock trauma near death and underwent immediate surgery: 14 lifesaving surgeries total. On life support and in critical condition, I was then placed in a medically induced coma for the next two months.

During my time in ICU, I had dozens of great care providers looking after me, but there were also several care providers that were excellent. The difference came from their level of compassion and communication.

Read more
"It's the Patient, Stupid."  (The Huffington Post)
In 1992, the other Clinton-Bill-successfully ran for President using the key message, "It's the economy, stupid." The phrase was coined by his campaign team to remind themselves and voters that the key to victory lay in focusing on the weak economy. It was a clever slogan. More importantly, it was a simple and potent reminder of what actually mattered to people.

When people talk about "patient-centered care" like it's a radical, revolutionary idea, I have a similar reaction ("It's the patient, stupid"). Who else but the patient should be at the center of the care system? Organizing the health care enterprise around the patient should be an obvious no-brainer.

And yet, the reality is that too often the patient is an afterthought. The patient winds up being secondary to the needs of providers, insurers, drug companies...everyone else with a stake in our health care system. Purchasers, providers, and payers are usually part of decision-making, but the most important "p"-the patient-is generally excluded. 
How Person-Centered is Your Health Care Organization? (HealthAffairsBlog)
The movement to transform the country's health care delivery system has been underway for several years now, and some moments of truth are approaching. The ultimate success of this monumental effort to improve the way we pay for and deliver care will be measured not only by cost savings, but also by how well payment reform results in better health outcomes and a value-based system that delivers genuinely person-centered care.

The Health Care Transformation Task Force-a unique private-sector, multi-stakeholder group whose 42 members represent six of the nation's top 15 health systems, four of the top 25 health insurers, and leading national organizations representing employers and patients and their families-has been at the forefront of helping to accelerate the pace of this transformation. As part of our efforts to transition our health care system toward value-based payment, we strongly support ensuring that new models of payment promote a person-centered care system that improves the care experience for patients and family caregivers. We believe that, to do this, patients and consumers must be engaged as partners at all levels of care and care design including the building of alternative payment models.
A Physician Writes: 5 Things Physicians Realize When They're Patients (Kevin MD)

There are so many insightful stories out there about what happens when physicians experience life as a patient or family member. They always make sobering reading for everyone in health care. Over the years I've heard dozens of these stories from fellow physicians, describing experiences when they've unfortunately been sick themselves. It's an inevitable fact of life for everyone that they will be the patient one day, but it's often an especially life-changing experience for anyone who already works at the frontlines of medicine. Based on these experiences, here are 5 pieces of universal feedback.
Palliative Care

10 Take Home Lessons From the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) Annual Seminar (Pallimed)
I was fortunate to attend the 2016 CAPC conference in Orlando. Below are some of the most notable pearls I will be taking home with me. 
Study Results Serve as "Call to Action" to Increase Investment in Palliative Care
Only one-fourth of U.S. hospitals complied with established quality standards for having a fully staffed palliative care team, according to study results published in Health Affairs.
"What we wanted to do with this study was underscore the gap between what this patient population needs based upon consensus quality guidelines and what is actually happening in hopes it will be a call to action for health system leaders to appropriately invest in staff training and capacity for these programs," Diane E. Meier, MD, director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care and a HemOnc Today Editorial Board member, said during an interview.
Meier and colleagues pooled data from the National Palliative Care Registry on staffing of palliative care programs in hospitals during 2012 and 2013. Data indicated that nearly 18,000 additional palliative care physicians would be needed to meet the needs of existing palliative care programs in the United States.

Meier spoke with HemOnc Today about the findings and the impact she hopes they will have on palliative care programs across the country.
End-of-Life Care

Illness Sparks a Quest to Transform End-of-Life Care (HealthLeaders Media)
After a health system executive was diagnosed with cancer, her CEO tasked her with creating a system wide initiative to transform end-of-life care. 
High-Quality Online Certificate Courses in Spiritual Care in Palliative Care ─ for Spiritual Care Specialists (Chaplains) and Spiritual Care Generalists (Nurses, Social Workers, Physicians, Others)

NEW: Courses are now Available at a Significantly Reduced Price yet 
With the Same High Quality Curriculum, Instruction and Support That 
Course Takers Praise Highly
Delivering quality spiritual care to palliative care patients requires both the chaplain as the specialist and involvement by the other members of the interdisciplinary team as spiritual care generalists.
The hundreds of health care professionals (chaplains, nurses, social workers, physicians, and others) who have completed these courses say that as a result they have significantly enhanced their knowledge and skills to deliver spiritual care in palliative care settings.

Register Now for Next Courses Which Start January 11th.

Have questions? Email