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August 1, 2011

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  • Robotic seal connects with dementia patients

    What do robots and iPads have in common? Both are tools used successfully by hospices to improve communications with patients who have dementia.
  • 12 tips that improve communication

    According to the 2010 NHPCO Hospice Facts and Figures: Hospice Care in America, dementia represents the third most frequently cited non-cancer primary diagnosis for hospice.
  • Don't forget non-clinical indicators in QI

    As hospice managers face the advent of quality reporting programs, Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement (QAPI) programs are being evaluated to ensure the capability to meet requirements for Medicare programs.
  • NHPCO comments on ethics

    The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization has issued a position statement and commentary, Hospice and Palliative Care: Ethical Marketing Practices, that guides providers to the use of sound, ethical practices that enhance the perception of hospice in the community.
  • Palliative care cuts hospitalization costs

    A study published recently in Health Affairs shows that hospitalization costs for patients with certain terminal or serious chronic illnesses are significantly lower when palliative care is provided. In fact, the study of four hospitals in New York State showed an average cost of admission that was $6,900 lower for these patients.
  • I Can't Get No Salivation

    Elders who ate sorbet before a meal ate more of the rest of their meal.
  • Inducing the Munchies: THC for Cancer Cachexia

    A short trial of a synthetic cannabinoid for people with advanced cancer was shown to improve caloric intake, appetite, and sensory perceptions around food, as well as quality of life.
  • Education improves care planning

    Cost and time constraints limit the amount of advanced care planning that a primary care physician can provide to patients, but when patients received educational information prior to meeting with their doctors, the number of advanced medical directives completed increases by more than 17%.
  • Free webinar for volunteer coordinators

    The Hospice Foundation of America has developed "Hospice Volunteers: Recruiting, Retaining, Rewarding," a free on-line webinar that examines the important role that volunteers play in hospice, and explores creative ways that hospices can recruit and retain volunteers.
  • AARP report evaluates POLST

    An Oregon-pioneered program aimed at improving health care for those with advanced illness is now receiving national attention from AARP. The recently released report about the Physicians Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) program points out that despite challenges and barriers, the POLST program does enrich care for individuals in the states that utilize POLST.
  • Paid caregivers lack skills for tasks in homes

    Paid caregivers make it possible for seniors to remain living in their homes. The problem, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study, is that more than one-third of caregivers had difficulty reading and understanding health-related information and directions. Sixty percent made errors when sorting medications into pillboxes.
  • Gaps in hospice accessibility

    More than a third of Americans now die under the care of a hospice service. But a University of Michigan study reveals major gaps in the availability of hospice care across the country gaps that the researchers attribute directly to the way hospice care is currently funded in America.