Larry Beresford, freelance medical journalist in Alameda, CA (Twitter: @larryberesford)
The Institute of Medicine’s landmark new report, Dying in America: Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life, developed with the active participation of several AAHPM leaders in an exhaustive, 2-year process of evidence-based deliberation, was released on September 17. It contains a number of key findings about the delivery of person-centered care, clinician-patient communication, professional education and development, and public education and engagement—many of which harmonize well with the Academy’s aims and activities.
In an article I wrote for the latest AAHPM Quarterly, board member Christian Sinclair, MD FAAHPM, states that every Academy committee, task force, and work group could use the IOM report as the basis for pursuing long-term goals in advocacy for the delivery of palliative care in America. Individual palliative care professionals, he hopes, won’t let this serious document “gather dust on the digital shelf,” but instead will use it to get the word out in their communities.
Read it, if not all 458 pages at least the six page summary of key findings and recommendations. Then, let us know how you find ways to use it as a tool for spreading the message of palliative care in the comments below.