Our guest in this episode is Dr. Paul DeSandre, Director of Palliative and Supportive Care at Grady Health Systems in Atlanta, GA. Dr. DeSandre discusses the successes and challenges he encountered in rebuilding a failing palliative care team, and how he was able to improve relationships with referring physicians.
The biggest success was to . . . establish a presence where it was obvious that we had the capacity to change dialogues with families. We were a profound influence on shifting dialogue with very difficult cases
During the conversation, Dr. DeSandre notes that a major challenge that his team faces is communicating the universal message that palliative care is available to patients with a serious illness upon entry to the hospital. Although there is still a “long way to go” in terms of the number of patients seen, Dr. DeSandre and his team have experienced increased involvement in critical cases, developed more controlled communications with patients, and have been able to successfully rebuild their program.