Sunday, January 25, 2015

Results of 2014 Stories of the Year in Hospice and Palliative Medicine

by Christian Sinclair, MD, FAAHPM

The results are in and the public* has had their say!

The top story of the year in hospice and palliative medicine for 2014 is Atul Gawande's "Being Mortal" being published and becoming a best seller on numerous lists.  The honorable mention for story of the year was the Institute of Medicine publishing the Dying in America: Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences near the End of Life. Here is the full list with links of all the top stories.

Here is the complete list of the top stories by category with the notable person or organization indicated in parentheses.

Story of the Year - Overall
Winner: Atul Gawande hitting the New York Times Bestseller list with “Being Mortal” (Atul Gawande)
Honorable Mention: Institute of Medicine “Dying in America” report released (Institute of Medicine)

Story of the Year - Media Spotlight
Winner: Atul Gawande hitting the New York Times Bestseller list with “Being Mortal” (Atul Gawande)
Honorable Mention: Institute of Medicine “Dying in America” report released (Institute of Medicine)

Story of the Year - Organizational Impact
Winner: NIH and NINR launch pediatric focused campaign, Palliative Care: Conversations Matter (NIH and NINR)
Honorable Mention: Hospice 40th Anniversary (NHPCO)

Story of the Year - Philanthropic
Winner: AAHPM Shaping the Future campaign ends with over $1 million pledged (AAHPM)
Honorable Mention: ResolutionCare crowdfunds a palliative care service (ResolutionCare)

Story of the Year - Policy, Financing and Regulations
Winner: CMS (Medicare) considers paying for Advance Care Planning (CMS via Patrick Conway)
Honorable Mention: Palliative Care mandate for Medicaid (Medical) patients in California (Coalition for Compassionate Care of California)

Story of the Year - Social Media Success
Winner: Heart warming stories across social media featuring people with serious illness
Honorable Mention: Geripal and Pallimed hit 2 million views each (Geripal and Pallimed)

In an oversight, the Research and Education category was mistakenly left off of the poll. Pallimed will be awarding the winner of story of the year in the research and education.

Story of the Year - Research and Education
Winner: First ever Palliative Oncology conference jointly hosted by ASCO, AAHPM and others
Honorable Mention: JAMA hospice article reinforces hospice benefit in late stage cancer

Here are the complete results.  Scoring was ranked from 0-3 with 0 = no answer or not important; 1 = somewhat important; 2 = very important; 3 = extremely important.

Some other interesting findings. A few people noted that we left the WaPo and Huffington Post investigative reports on hospice care off of the list. That was not an accident, it was intentional. While notable stories, we have some concerns about the quality of those stories as we have noted before.  It is a good topic for conversation and one we will include in next year's poll on whether to include stories with more of a negative reputation.

Also we asked how many of these stories were new to you at the end of the poll.  On average the poll-takers score was 70% awareness of the stories which is good to know you are all informed!

I will add that we at Pallimed only covered some (16/46) of the stories covered 2014 Story of the Year series, which tells us two things:

  1. We need more people to help us write and cover some of these great stories
  2. You can start your own website to feature some of these great stories

Thanks to all who participated in the poll!

*and by public I mean 43 people. So clearly not a representative sample.  This is the first year that we have done this and despite our broad reach on multiple platforms we learned a lot this year, and will be making a more invested effort in 2015.  If you are interested in helping we are looking for people to help run future Pallimed polls and the end of the year review poll. Email editor -at- pallimed -dot-org for more info.

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