April 2016 Issue No. 9
We hope that you find this complimentary monthly e-newsletter informative. Below are short summaries of each selected item with links to the entire pieces. Please feel free to send any questions or comments to email@example.com.
Rev. Eric J. Hall
President & CEO
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network & Spiritual Care Association
Engage patients to improve outcomes and reduce risks (KevinMD.com)
Active patient engagement is a quality measure of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Triple Aim Initiative, a framework targeted at optimizing health systems “to improve care, improve population health, and reduce costs per capita.”
Hearing the Voice of the Patient (The Rev. George Handzo, BCC, CSSBB)
These days, it is almost scandalous to suggest that patients and their family caregivers should not be consulted and included in deciding on their care. Many of us are advocating models in which the patient actually sits in on the team's care planning rather than the team having discussions without the patient and then bringing the patient into the conversation to "discuss" the plan the team has already decided on.
However, as with most conditions in life, this one comes with some consequences that many didn't anticipate and some providers don't necessarily like.
Stigma keeps some cancer patients from getting palliative care (Reuters)
Some cancer patients may turn down care that could ease their pain and improve their quality of life because they think this type of “palliative” treatment amounts to giving up and simply waiting to die, a small Canadian study suggests.
Even though the World Health Organization recommends early palliative care for patients living with any serious illness, negative attitudes among patients and family caregivers often lead them to reject this option, researchers note in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Collaborative Care Intervention Improves Side Effects, Quality of Life for Patients and Caregivers (Oncology Nurse Advisor)
Active screening and symptom management in patients with cancer reduces depression, pain, and fatigue, and improves quality of life for patients and their family caregivers, a study published in the journal Cancer has shown.1
Because effective palliative care can improve outcomes for patients and ease the burden of care for their caregivers, researchers sought to determine the efficacy of a collaborative care intervention on depression, pain, and fatigue and quality of life for patients with cancer and their family caregiver.
How chaplains are a valuable part of the health care team (KevinMD.com)
At a time when perhaps health care chaplains can be more of an asset than ever, there are several issues that have been inhibiting the profession. They are issues that cannot be ignored, not just within the discipline of chaplaincy but by health care leaders….
As the chaplaincy profession continues to evolve, there are several actions health care leaders can — and should — do now.
- The first step is determining whether your organization has a chaplain(s) on the team. If not, an essential element of whole-person care is missing.
- Next, ensure that the chaplain has the education, training and credentialing that is recognized within the profession, and advocate for competency for best patient outcomes.
- Encourage other members of the interdisciplinary team to obtain basic knowledge of spiritual care to incorporate into their scope of practice and to facilitate interactions with and referrals to chaplains.
- Read the quality indicators and scope of practice documents, and, in collaboration with your organization’s chaplaincy department, commit to the suggested quality indicators and competencies.
- Make your voice known that you value chaplains as members of the interdisciplinary team, and support the move within the profession to explore new avenues of training, standardization of practice, and commitment to research and quality.
Third Annual Caring for the Human Spirit® Conference Is Best Yet. Health Care Professionals Who Provide Spiritual Care Were Energized by the Knowledge Sharing and Networking (plainviews.healthcarechaplaincy.org)
“I’ve been a chaplain for 16 years, and this was the best conference I’ve attended,” said one participant.
More than 300 in-person attendees and thousands via webcast from 13 countries - chaplains, physicians, nurses, social workers, researchers, educators and others - participated in the third annual Caring for the Human Spirit® conference hosted by HealthCare Chaplaincy Network in San Diego, Calif., April 11-13, 2016.
The conference included six major addresses, 30+ workshops on a wide variety of topics, poster sessions, and considerable opportunities for small group and one-on-one dialogue.
At the conference’s conclusion Denise LaChance, Director of Mission Integration & Spiritual Care for a California medical center said: “ The excellent plenary talks and workshops I attended and several in-depth conversations each addressed something specific we are working on at our hospital, from the big picture perspective of the importance of both research and story in communicating the significance of spiritual care to our health care colleagues to specific new screening tools we may be able to use to screen for spiritual needs. I am very excited about the future of chaplaincy and my place in it after this conference.”
Beth Delaney, a Nurse Practitioner and Assistant Professor of Nursing in Ohio said: “As a nurse practitioner who cares for cancer patients, my nurse research partner and I found attending the Caring for the Human Spirit conference provided a forum for ‘like minded’ health care individuals to form a community of inquiry, where learning and supporting one another encourage all of us to continually strive to improve the care for one of the most unique characteristics of all humans...the spirit.”
New Spiritual Care Association Formed to Advance Chaplaincy Profession and Provision of Spiritual Care by Other Disciplines…Meets Rising Demand for Spiritual Aspect of Whole Person-Care in Today’s Health System
A new interdisciplinary professional organization focusing on spiritual care, the Spiritual Care Association (SCA), was announced on April 11th. It has been established with the goals of providing robust education and career paths in spiritual care in health care, raising chaplaincy to a more standardized and visible profession, and, ultimately, helping more people in need of spiritual support. “It’s time to make spiritual care a priority. This forward-looking model modernizes the profession and maximizes the potential of spiritual care in whole-person care,” said Rev. Eric J. Hall, SCA’s president and CEO.
Watch or read announcement, and download informational brochure here: http://www.healthcarechaplaincy.org/sca.html
Find SCA website here: http://spiritualcareassociation.org/home.html
Send questions or comments to info@SpiritualCareAssociation.org
The Elder Spirituality Project (www.spiritualityandpractice.com)
Elder Spirituality is a focus whose time has come. Traditionally in the world's religions, the last stage of life is seen as a time for intensified spiritual work as well as for passing on wisdom to other generations. In the United States, a Baby Boomer turns 65 every 7 seconds, and people are living longer in other parts of the world as well. Here at Spirituality & Practice, elders are a growing and important group using our resources for spiritual journeys.
Go to site which includes curated content here (http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/projects/elder-spirituality/overview)
Is High-Quality Spiritual Care in Your Future? (CKN – Cancer Knowledge Network: cancerkn.com)
The value of spiritual care as a contributor to health and healing is increasingly being recognized. Yet, many more inpatients desire conversations about religion/spirituality than actually have them. Some may not know to request a chaplaincy visit or may not be offered one. While chaplains are increasingly engaged as members of palliative care teams, there are health care settings that lack chaplains, don’t fully integrate them into health care teams, or don’t have enough to see all those in need.
Now, many more of these conversations may take place, thanks to some new developments in the field of professional chaplaincy. Two panels of top multidisciplinary experts, convened by HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, have developed evidence-based indicators for determining the quality of spiritual care and evidence-based competencies for chaplains. These tools provide a framework for providing spiritual care and how to measure its outcomes—a buzzword that goes a long way in today’s health care environment.
For individuals and their families, the message is loud and clear: quality spiritual care counts. With these new tools in hand, administrators and chaplaincy departments will be looking at not only if spiritual care is provided, but how it is provided.
The Gift of Presence, the Perils of Advice (www.onbeing.org)
Parker J. Palmer - Quaker elder, educator, activist, and founder of the Center for Courage & Renewal – writes:
Advice-giving comes naturally to our species, and is mostly done with good intent. But in my experience, the driver behind a lot of advice has as much to do with self-interest as interest in the other’s needs — and some advice can end up doing more harm than good…
Here’s the deal. The human soul doesn’t want to be advised or fixed or saved. It simply wants to be witnessed — to be seen, heard and companioned exactly as it is. When we make that kind of deep bow to the soul of a suffering person, our respect reinforces the soul’s healing resources, the only resources that can help the sufferer make it through.