Mastodon CAPC Seminar 2015 Review ~ Pallimed

Saturday, November 21, 2015

CAPC Seminar 2015 Review

by Jessica Heintz

For me, attending the Center to Advance Pallaitive Care (CAPC) Seminar is very much like coming home. To be with other palliative care providers who understand the language, and the struggles as we all push forward the agenda of improving care for the seriously ill, is the ultimate homecoming. Though we all know “If you’ve seen one palliative care program, you’ve seen ONE palliative care program,” at the same time, so much of what we face is similar. I am so grateful to CAPC for creating the space, providing the tools, and driving the agenda to help us all lead the transformation of modern healthcare. I truly love being a part of it.

There were more than 1,000 participants this year including physicians, nurses, chaplains, pharmacists, payers, social workers, counselors, administrators, the C-Suite (Yes, a health system CFO came to CAPC!) all trying to ride the wave as we shift from fee for service into the nebulous and evolving population health model. I love networking and learning with this crowd, exploring how palliative care demonstrates its value and maintains excellence in an expanding variety of settings and constructs.

The preconference “Bootcamp” on palliative care strategies for the community was definitely a bootcamp. A little like drinking from a firehose, it was worth every minute. The overriding theme of the conference was the importance of relationships, across the continuum and at every level. As we consider, design, develop, build, and deliver expanded palliative care services, integrating and partnering with the communities that have a growing desire (and growing mandate) to get it right and well, will be essential.

Including the individual patient and family voice has to be a part if this as well. I was especially struck by a comment from one of the speakers, formerly a caregiver for her husband over a prolonged, debilitating illness. She was asked by a member of the audience what she saw as the greatest need in helping caregivers of those with serious illness. Her answer surprised me, and it was simple - "Education."

Her health care providers knew how to deliver the care, but they did not know how to teach it. She pointed out that doing and teaching are in fact, very different skills. I’d hadn’t really even thought of that before, but we are in fact asking nursing, care aids, respiratory therapists, and many others to teach our patient’s families what to do and how to do and we have to start training our health care providers in teaching skills as well.

I learned so much from people speaking about their initial forays into telehealth, a fantastic presentation on resilience, as well as a very creative public engagement campaign that involved actors standing on street corners for a week with signs that read “Things you shouldn't wait to say” that grabbed the local media’s attention and pointed people to a website to help facilitate advance care discussions.

So many amazing ideas and connections, now back at my desk, if I could only get to that To Do list… ☺

I spoke to people from programs with incredibly different infrastructure who have had to get creative and partner and capture data in ways I’d never thought of. But I can take these back to my organization and improve the care we deliver.

One Plenary led by Diane Meier, Director of CAPC, and and Lynn Hill Spragens on Payer-Provider partnerships provided a refreshing opportunity to see behind the curtain of the world of payers. So interesting to see that they face similar issues that we, at the hospital level, encounter as we come before the C-Suite attempting to define our value.

Overall, this is a great conference, and one I look forward to attending whenever I can get there.

Photo Credit: Amy Berman (@NotesonNursing) via Twitter, used with permission 
Photo Credit: www.thingsyoushouldn'

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