Monthly Archives: February 2015

Ten measures to drive quality palliative and hospice care

Nurses-GeriatricsPatients with serious and life-threatening illnesses may be less likely to experience unnecessary physical and emotional suffering if they receive palliative or hospice care that meets 10 key quality indicators identified by the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) and the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA). The findings and recommendations of the organizations’ consensus project, Measuring What Matters, were published online in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management.Measuring What Matters was launched to ensure palliative and hospice care patients receive the highest quality care by identifying the 10 best existing indicators – measures – to gauge that care. The 10 measures range from a complete assessment (including physical, psychological, social, spiritual and functional needs) to a plan for managing pain and shortness of breath to having patients’ treatment preferences followed. They were selected from among 75 indicators largely based on what’s most important to patients and families.Palliative care improves quality of life for patients who are being treated for a serious illness by managing pain and other symptoms. Hospice is a specific type of palliative care for patients in their last year of life.The goal of the project was to select a set of measures that are scientifically rigorous, and that all palliative and hospice care providers should use to ensure they are giving the highest quality care and to eventually enable benchmarking in the field. Currently there is no consistency regarding which measures are required by various groups, from accrediting organizations to payers. As the population ages and the demand for this type of care grows, the ability to assess quality throughout the country and across care settings is increasingly important.

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Practicing nursing care in a virtual world

NursesOculus Rift, a gaming headset, can help teach nurses how to communicate better, researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology have found.While Facebook wants to make the world’s best online games using the Oculus Rift headset, researchers at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) are using the same set-up to help teach nurses how to communicate better.The Oculus Rift headset gives your body and your mind the powerful experience of being in a virtual world. Your body feels confused, the signals that your brain gets from your eyes don’t quite match with what the rest of your body is experiencing. Your heart rate jumps, and you might even feel nauseated. But many are intrigued – and consumed by the experience.”Forget Google glass. Now it’s Oculus Rift that’s big. Especially if you want to immerse yourself in another reality,” says Ekaterina Prasolova-Førland, an associate professor in NTNU’s Programme for Learning with ICT.

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