Monday, January 1, 2018

Palliative Care Resolutions for 2018

by Christian Sinclair (@ctsinclair)

Happy New Year! As we look towards the future that is now 2018, many of us make promises which can be difficult to keep, but always with the purpose of working towards the best version of ourselves. (In a way it is kind of like a quality improvement project!) Often these resolutions are personal: exercise 5 times a week, eat more healthy, learn a new language, read more books, spend less time on my phone. Sometimes these resolutions reside in our professional spheres of influence. I thought it would be interesting to see what some hospice and palliative care colleagues are resolving to do in 2018. If you have a resolution of your own, please post in in the comments, or share on Twitter with #hpmResolutions. If you don't want to make it so public you can always talk to the people you work with every day and see what they are committing to this year within hospice and palliative care.

I want end-of-life care conversations to be everyday conversations! So I'm going to try to take those conversations outside the hospital and to the community by speaking at local organizations. - Elizabeth Gundersen, former PCP and hospitalist turned palliative care doctor (@Top_Gundersen)

I am hoping to expand my cultural horizons as I walk the path of chronic illness and death with children and their families. I want to be more mindful of how my actions can fit into their culture as opposed to invade it. - Katie Harmoney, pediatrician, pediatric hem-onc fellow and future pediatric palliative care fellow (@katie_harmoney)

My 2018 resolution is to increase my gratitude to the life and career I have been given through being more focused in the present moment- the future is not guaranteed which my palliative care & hospice patients teach me! - David Bruxton (@DavidBruxtonMD), Palliative Care Physician, Adult and Child Psychiatrist

My 2018 HPM resolution is to wait one beat longer before offering an opinion. “Let me not seek as much to be understood as to understand.”—Prayer of St. Francis. - Joe Rotella (@JRotellaAAHPM), AAHPM Chief Medical Officer

Continue to love and give compassion to ourselves, our patients, their families/caregivers, and colleagues. We are all in this together. - Rab Razzak, (@RabRazzak), Palliative Care doctor at Johns Hopkins

My palliative care resolution for 2018 is to hunker down and really figure out the role of the "patient as researcher" in palliative care. In the spring of 2017, I applied to PCORI for funding on a project called the Brain Cancer Quality of Life Collaborative, which is all about palliative care. I was excited and terrified when I was approved for the funding in the fall of 2017. I am not a clinician, I am not a researcher, and I am not an academic. I am a patient. I know how to bring together the neuro-oncology and palliative care communities, and I know many patients and care partners who are passionate about doing something to improve quality life and palliative care for people living with brain cancer and their families. In 2018, I will fight my imposter syndrome, and I will rock this project. Families dealing with brain cancer (or any serious illness) want to spend time building memories, not navigating the healthcare system. - Liz Salmi (@TheLizArmy), Co-founder of #btsm (Brain Tumor Social Media chat), Communications for My Open Notes

Excited to be working with over 50 external organizations to make new #NCPguidelines a reality and work to implement in all settings. - Amy Melnick (@AmyMelnick1), Executive Director, National Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care

Learn more about screening for risk of opioid abuse when initiating opioids for pain in the hospital and start doing it! Also, try using dictation for my notes to speed completion and reduce the time spent on documentation. - Meredith MacMartin (@GraniteDoc), palliative care doctor at Dartmouth-Hitchcock health system and Geisel  School of Medicine.

For me engaging with the academic networks to get the algorithms working to identify people better than by surprise question or the like and chatting more to the ED lot. - Ollie Minton (@drol007), Palliative care physician and researcher

My 2018 hospice and palliative medicine/care resolution is to read more journal articles AND then actually post a write-up of them in the spirit of what Pallimed was when Drew first started it. There is a lot of important research being done and it needs to be discussed more! - Christian Sinclair (@ctsinclair)

Some other thoughts on palliative care and hospice resolutions you might want to commit to:
- Contact your local, state and federal legislators for the first time ever (you can talk about the importance of hospice, palliative care, pending legislation about quality of life, etc)
- Read an entire hospice or palliative care textbook
- Submit a conference proposal
- Submit a letter to the editor (local newspaper, NYT, WaPo, medical journals)
- Start a Quality Improvement project around palliative care
- Participate in your first #hpm chat on Twitter (now monthly- subscribe for updates)
- Donate part of your coffee money monthly to a local, state, national or international organization supporting hospice and palliative care
- Mentor, coach or sponsor someone in hospice and palliative care to achieve more
- Write notes of appreciation instead of gifts for your peers and colleagues for holidays and birthdays
- Record a lecture video on a topic you know well and post it online (SlideShare, YouTube, etc)
- Write a post for Pallimed, GeriPal, or Palliverse
- Start your own blog, video channel, or other social media channel dedicated to palliative care knowledge

Feel free to add your own ideas below!

Christian Sinclair (@ctsinclair) is a palliative care doctor at the University of Kansas Health System, and resolution-making and resolution-breaking human being who strives to be better, but doesn't always get to where he wants to be.

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