Monday, February 2, 2009

AAHPM/HPNA Annual Assembly Preview:
Wed Pre-Conf.

View of Downtown Austin and Texas State Capito...Image via Wikipedia

(In 2007 and 2008 I posted previews for the AAHPM/HPNA Annual Assemblies. I started doing the preview because one of my favorite things about conferences is talking to other people to see what they are interested in, so feel free to comment on which sessions you are excited about. If you are giving any of these talks, I encourage you to leave some comments to get more people aware of your talk. There are some good ones!

This year the Annual Assembly is in Austin, TX from Wednesday March 25th until Saturday, March 28th.)


Wednesday March 25th Pre-Conference Workshops

All Day Sessions (8a-5p)

Hospice Medical Director Course—Module C: Administrative Issues and Challenges (P1)
In a rotating fashion, Modules A, B and C all get their turn in the spotlight. While the blurb in the handout does not say anything explicitly about the new Medicare Hospice Benefit Conditions of Participation, I sure hope they cover these since there are going to be a lot of changes in the future in what it means to be a hospice medical director (more phone calls and paperwork in a more timely fashion methinks.) Any help in navigating the new COP's would be great for the busy hospice medical director.

CPC Social Worker Workshop (P11)
The College for Palliative Care is sponsoring the only no fee pre-conference. There is no mention of the Social Work in Hospice and Palliative Care Network being a part of this, but it is mentioned on their website. Sessions given by social workers and chaplains (or other non-nurse/physicians for that matter) are rare at the Assembly, but my hope is that sessions like this encourage more diverse interdisciplinary faculty at future palliative care educational conferences.

Half-day Sessions - 8a-Noon

Practical Approaches to Palliative Wound Care (P2)
I am so there. I have missed so many major wound care talks because of conflicts at past Assemblies so this year I am determined to go to this. The best part is the blurb describes the session as hands-on, so I have already started to work on my own decubitus!

Communication Skills for Transitions in Goals of Care (P3)
The creators of Oncotalk (Back, Arnold, Tulsky and Baile) present their unique system on addressing the dynamic landscape of goals of care. Oncotalk was developed initially for Oncology fellows and has been going for 3-4 years now (someone please correct me if I am wrong). The program was born out of PDIA and NIH grants. For someone needing to brush up or hone their goals of care talks this is the session you need.

Ethics Skills Building Workshop (P4)
Palliative care has usurped many an ethics consult with good communication and focusing on what the patient and families needs are. Most palliative care consultants have so much ethics experience they are frequently asked to be on ethics committees but what qualifies one to be on a ethics committee? I hope they move beyond the traditional paradigm of autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence and distributive justice. Most people are pretty familiar with these principles, but a good palliative care clinician should extend their ethical paradigm to consider a wide range of principles and ethical approaches.

Grief and Its Multi-faceted Nature: A Clinical- and Skill-Oriented Workshop (P5)
The blurb says role-play will be included which I think is a great idea for any of these interactive sessions. But is it always good to put role-play in your blurb if you are trying to induce people to come? Or is it better to spring it on them once they are there? My vote? Spring it on 'em, the words role-play scare people away IMHO.

Creating Pediatric Hospice and Palliative Care Programs and Fellowships (P10)
A niche talk to be sure, but one that is necessary so that we can stop freaking out adult medicine docs who realize they may HAVE to do pediatric palliative care because they are the only game in town!

Half-day sessions 1p-5p

Hospice in Long-Term Care: Regulations, Ethics, Quality, and Collaboration (P6)
If ever there was an area that needed more collaboration and understanding it would be hospices and nursing homes. There is much potential for synergy, but frequently different regulatory systems and cultures conflict, so I am glad to see this session here. I am debating between this and Advanced Pediatric Pain Management (P8). If only I were more excited about regulations.

Making It in a Man’s World: A Leadership Boot Camp for Women in Health Care (P7)
All they need to do is come to Kansas City. I am surrounded by women in strong leadership roles in my hospice clinical work and with the University of Kansas fellowship program here (now accepting applications for 2009 & 2010! We are accredited!). Seriously, a great outside the box topic that helps our field succeed. And what a great list of presenters: Periyakoil, Block, Meier, Ferrell, Ritchie. So good choice for a session, but obviously not for me. ;-)

Advanced Pediatric Pain Management (P8)
Still debating between this and the LTCF session, since I see more pediatric patients then LTCF patients. Would like to hear more about subanesthetic ketamine protocols since we don't prescribe that frequently. And when it comes to pain control in pediatric patients there is still a fear of opioids and undertreatment is common, so any other tools would be great to have.

Translating Patients’ Wishes into Medical Orders: The POLST Paradigm (P9)
POLST is really making a path across the country. As I look over some of the forms, I wonder how well they are received by families as we discuss the use or discontinuation of antibiotics. Sometimes these discussions feel like walking a tightrope based on patient and family hesitancy to commit to any concrete course of action. Since I don't live in a POLST state (yet) I guess I will have to wait and see. Or I could also go to this session.

CPC Physician Workshop—Next Steps in Competency-Based Assessment for HPM Fellowship Training: Identifying Assessment Tools and Giving Specific Feedback (P12)
Longest title contender for sure. Glad to see Laura Morrison at the helm of this talk. She was one of my first friends at the 2004 Annual Assembly after we chatted about ICD deactivation. And VJ Periyakoil is presenting at this one also? How can she present at three conferences? Maybe she has superpowers and can be in two places at once. If so I must meet her. (It is getting late while I write this...can you tell?)

Stay tuned for more previews in the next week or two. Early registration is due February 11th!
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