5 reasons not to miss Dr. Bernacki’s special rounds on Serious Illness Care Conversations

Nov 3, 2016 | News

On November 7th, Providence Health Care and Vancouver Coastal Health will have the honour of hosting Dr. Rachelle Bernecki, of Harvard Medical School and Ariadne Labs, as she presents two special rounds on serious illness care conversations.

If these presentations are not yet in your calendar, here are 5 reasons to not to miss out:

  1. Serious illness care conversations are hard. Even the most experienced health care providers screw them up sometimes. But understanding what is most important to patients with a life-limiting disease, and knowing their goals and fears, is essential to providing good care. Otherwise we risk over treating – or under treating – and doing things that go against a patient’s wishes.
  2. We are caring for an aging population, with a corresponding rise in patients living with one or multiple chronic diseases. All health care providers, regardless of our focus, need the skill of talking with our patients.
  3. Death is not a failure - it is the inevitable final chapter of life.  All of our patients (and all of us) will eventually die. We need to find ways to be comfortable with this ourselves, and to be able to support our patients to have the best possible final chapter.
  4. The Serious Illness Conversation Guide benefits both the clinician and the patient. Research out of The Serious Illness Care Program developed at Ariadne Labs by Dr. Bernacki and her colleagues is demonstrating that using a tool like the Serious Illness Conversation Guide leads to decreased clinician anxiety, increased understanding of the patient’s values and goals, increased patient understanding of their illness, and an earlier start to their end of life planning.
  5. A patient centred approach. The difference between a great health care provider and one that patients and their families will never forget is the ability to communicate effectively, and to listen and understand what is most important to them.

Part 1 of Dr. Bernacki’s rounds will focus on research and best practices in serious illness conversations and the development of the Serious Illness Conversation Program, and will take place in the Diamond Lecture Theatre at VGH from 8am – 9am. Click here for a full list of telecast locations.

Part 2 will focus on using the Serious Illness Conversation Guide, and will take place in the Cullen Family Lecture Theatre at SPH from 12pm – 1pm. Click here for a full list of telecast locations.

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