PeraHealth Insights

Key Takeaways from the National Symposium for Academic Palliative Care Education

This year’s National Symposium for Academic Palliative Care Education and Research theme was Quality in Palliative Care: Fusing Education, Research and Practice. The annual event was held in San Diego and included over 70 academic institutions. The California State University Institute for Palliative Care brings together palliative care professionals devoted to advancing palliative care education and research with the goal of improving care for those with serious, chronic, or life-threatening illness.

We were fortunate to have two of our healthcare partners, Yale New Haven Health System and LifeBridge Health, share their stories and testimonials on how PeraHealth’s Rothman Index (RI) brings value to their work. Benefits from utilization of the RI include accurately identifying patients for a palliative care consult, while enhancing communication between clinicians and with patients and their families.

Below are key takeaways from their sessions:

Workshop Session: Using the Rothman Index to Communicate with Patients and Families Regarding Patient Status Prioritization – Olufunmilayo Ogundele, MD, MS, LifeBridge Health

Session highlights:

This session covered how the clinical team uses proactive rounding through use of the Rothman Index (RI) to help trigger palliative care consults and communicate with patients and families in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

“The Rothman Index prioritizes your attention”, Dr. Olufunmilayo Ogundele, MD, MS, Lifebridge Health shared with the audience, “and helps with alignment in shared decision making.” The palliative care team uses the clinical surveillance tool to support the primary team in improving quality patient care, along with providing a consistent message for care delivery.

Strategies discussed included use of a tailored educational flier for families, and clinical surveillance protocols used amongst the care team.

“A picture is worth a thousand words. When I share the visualization that the Rothman Index provides, it is the most effective way to communicate and is the clearest part of what families understand. The Rothman Index drives requests for needed conversations with patients and their family members.” – Dr. Olufunmilayo Ogundele, MD, MS, Lifebridge Health.

Paper Session: Palliative Care Practice in Diverse Settings Using Big Data to Trigger Palliative Care in the ICU and the Step-Down Unit – Rebecca Gagne Henderson, APRN, ACHPN, PhDc, Yale New Haven Health Systems

Session highlights:

Despite the increased number of palliative care teams in the United State, access to palliative care in the hospital ICU continues to be inadequate. A barrier to access may be the difficulty in identifying those patients with palliative needs using a simple method. “The Rothman Index takes into account the most important part – nursing assessments – this validates clinicians’ gut feelings. The Rothman Index allowed patients in the ICU to get adequate access to timely palliative care consults.” – Rebecca Gagne Henderson, APRN, ACHPN, PhDc, Yale New Haven Health Systems

Yale conducted a pilot to determine the value of using the Rothman Index (RI) and a predetermined length of stay (LOS) as an automatic trigger for a palliative care consult. The organization also measured outcomes for patients who received the palliative care consult, using the trigger as criteria and compared them with those who meet criteria and did not receive a palliative care consult. A few of those results include 11 day Length of Stay (LOS) reduction and 54% direct cost reduction.

“In my 24 years in working in the palliative space I’ve shared the importance of compassion, empathy and doing the right thing… It always fell on deaf ears. Now, with these results, everyone is interested in what palliative care consults have to offer!” – Rebecca Gagne Henderson, APRN, ACHPN, PhDc, Yale New Haven Health Systems

The Rothman Index and the role it plays in palliative care

In honor of National Hospice & Palliative Care Month, PeraHealth encourages its partners and other interested healthcare professionals to learn more about our Rothman Index (RI) and the value it brings to this area of care.

The RI enables care providers and families to visualize a patient’s overall condition, trended over time, during their current hospital stay as well as prior hospital stays. These trends are just as important for the care team to know as they are for the patients and their families.

This year’s theme is “My Hospice. A Program that Works. A Benefit that Matters” and we are dedicated to supporting palliative care by visualizing a patient’s overall condition in real time. For more information this National Hospice & Palliative Care Month, discover more here.