The Alliance

Spotlight Series

The executive insight series is designed for healthcare senior executives. These brief, bi-annual issues focus on topics relevant to top-tier hospital leadership. For each topic, you can find related references, resources, and tools.

Spotlight Series Past Issues

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Meeting Palliative Care and OPO shared values and mitigating their shared concerns leads to higher authorization rates.

Palliative Providers: Working Together to Maximize Family Care

What is Palliative Care?

A palliative care provider is a healthcare professional that specializes in caring for people who are living with serious illness. Their primary goals of care are to relieve symptoms of illness and/or stress and to ultimately improve the quality of life for the patient and their family, as they are often seen as a collective unit.

Common “Triggers” for Palliative Care Consults

Palliative Care providers are often paged for consultations when a patient’s prognosis for survival and recovery is grave, they require assistance to cope with symptom distress, intensive healthcare utilization is necessary, or if there is patient’s family in distress.

Meeting Palliative Care and OPO shared values and mitigating their shared concerns leads to higher authorization rates.

Palliative Care and OPO: Shared Values

  • Patient/Family-centered decision-making
  • Communication involving healthcare teams as well as patients/families
  • Emotional and practical support • Symptom management and comfort care
  • Spiritual support
  • Organization and emotional support for ICU clinicians

Palliative Care and OPO: Shared Concerns

  • Providing adequate information
  • Assurance of high quality of care of the donor
  • Understanding of diagnosis, prognosis and treatment options
  • Separation of death notification from request of donation
  • Private setting for family conversations
  • Proper utilization of trained requestors

Consideration of organ and tissue donation can be woven seamlessly into routine End of Life (EOL) communications. The collaboration between Palliative Care and Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs) along with the opportunity for organ donation should be recognized as a “best practice” for optimizing care at the end-of-life phase

The 5 Goals of Family Communication

  1. Establishing trust
  2. Providing emotional support
  3. Ensuring family understanding (of diagnosis, prognosis and treatment options)
  4. Clinician/Requestor understanding of patient as an individual
  5. Deliberation of difficulties the family experienced

Reframing Hope Goals of Care: REMAP

  • R eframe
  • E xpect Emotion and Empathize
  • M ap the Future
  • A lign with the Patient’s Values
  • P lan Medical Treatments that Match Patient Values

The content of this issue is based on a webinar presentation by Paul L. DeSandre, DO, FACEP, FAAHPM (Chief of Palliative and Supportive Care, Grady Health Systems, Atlanta, Georgia) and Leslie Hunter-Johnson, DNP, GPCNP, BC, APRN (Director of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, Las Vegas, Nevada). A special thanks to Leslie and Dr. DeSandre for their contributions to this in-service.

Helpful Resources

Questions & Comments

Please send all questions and/or feedback to info@odt-alliance.org.

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A Special Thanks to This Series’ Contributors

Corey Bryant
About the Editor |
Corey Bryant

Corey Bryant brings nearly 15 years of communications experience to The Alliance, having served in communications and public relations roles for Disney Parks and Resorts, Disney Cruise Line and TransLife (now OurLegacy), the OPO serving East Central Florida. He has also been an active board member of Donate Life Florida, having served as state team leader for Driver License Outreach. Corey is a proud alum of The University of Alabama and serves on the board of directors for Come Out With Pride Orlando as well as Five Horizons Health Services, a not-for-profit organization providing access to progressive HIV testing, prevention and LGBT+ focused healthcare throughout West Alabama and East Mississippi.

Deanna Fenton
About the Editor |
Deanna Fenton

Deanna is a knowledgeable and versatile professional with diverse experiences in healthcare, client relations, marketing, project management and demonstrated skills in leadership and advocacy. Prior to joining The Alliance, she worked in Hospital Development at her local OPO in the state of New Jersey where she served as the clinical liaison to a number of Level 1 Trauma & Neuroscience centers as well as community hospitals. Her personal connection as a donor family and friend fuels her passion to support her colleagues across the donation-transplantation continuum through the development of valuable educational resources that ultimately boost performance and improve outcome measures. Deanna holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor degree in Public Health from Montclair State University. In her spare time, Deanna enjoys visiting vineyards, spending time with her family, and traveling in hopes of visiting all seven wonders of the world.

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