Are patients being asked the right questions when it comes to their pain?
The majority of health professionals today have had little to no training in core palliative care competencies such as pain and symptom management or skilled communication with patients and families. In this video, palliative care specialist Lynn Hallarman, MD, tells the story of when, as a young intern, she asked basic questions that didn’t get to the core of the problem for the patient. As a result, she obtained the wrong information. When she watched someone who was trained in these skills talk to the same patient however, Dr. Hallarman saw firsthand the importance of asking the right questions.
Palliative Care Addresses Three out of the Four CMS Quality Measures
Patient and family satisfaction with care is strongly tied to their experiences with pain, and how well clinicians communicate will soon begin to have an even bigger impact on a hospital’s financial success. This month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the release of the Hospital Compare star ratings system, designed to help beneficiaries choose where they receive their care. These star ratings encourage hospitals to strive to continuously improve the patient experience and quality of care delivered to patients. The core principals of palliative care directly align with three out of four of the rating system’s major categories. These include: the level of communication between doctors and nurses, the responsiveness of the hospital staff to patients’ needs and how well patients are prepared for post-hospital settings.
CAPC Pain Management Curriculum Offers a Solution
Experts say that palliative care training across health systems, in addition to specialist training, is the key to providing quality care for a growing population of patients with serious illness. In response to this need, CAPC has developed pain management curriculum designed to provide the knowledge and skills needed to effectively manage pain for seriously ill patients. Topics include pain assessment, selecting a safe and appropriate medication strategy, opioid prescribing and risk assessment for substance use disorder. Completion of all courses in the unit leads to CAPC Designation in Pain Management. Designation is available to all frontline clinicians of member institutions. Clinicians can also receive Designation status in Communication Skills. CMEs/CEUs are free with membership for social work, nursing and medicine. To learn more about CAPC membership, which allows immediate access to all CAPC courses, click here.