‘Creating the Hospice Palliative Care Continuum: A Futuring Forum’ was the first official event hosted by NHPCO’s Mary J. Labyak Institute for Innovation at the Westin Diplomat Hotel, January 22 – 24, 2013. The focus of the Futuring Forum was to identify and create innovative approaches to bring the services hospice provides – including pain and symptom management, care coordination, home safety assessments, emotional and spiritual support and caregiver education and services — to individuals and family caregivers coping with serious and chronic illness.
The Futuring Forum built upon participatory experiences with forum attendees engaging with presenters during five master classes and working in small groups to explore new ideas.
Master Classes featured guest speakers from outside of the hospice palliative care field. They included Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of TerraCycle; Clement Bezold, PhD, founder and chairman of the Institute for Alternative Futures; Jennie Chin Hansen, executive director of the American Geriatrics Society; Jim Kinsey, senior consultation services specialist for Planetree; and Steve Gross, chief playmaker and executive director of Life is Good Foundation.
“The opportunity for us to tap into the great minds of a number of dynamic innovators from many different fields fostered a spirit of creativity that allowed many of us to think in new ways and reframe the traditional hospice model as a series of services or products that individuals with serious illness so desperately need,” said J. Donald Schumacher, NHPCO president and CEO.
Schumacher added: “Some of the common themes that repeatedly came up as our guest presenters interacted with Forum attendees centered on the dedication and passion that motivates hospice professionals. The hospice field was created by those striving to innovate how the dying were cared for over 30 years ago – the need to tap back into this creativity came up repeatedly during the Forum.”
NHPCO plans to share ideas from the Futuring Forum at its upcoming Management & Leadership Conference (April 25-27, 2013, at the Gaylord National Harbor Convention Center, National Harbor, MD) and via other member platforms to prompt further discussion and collaboration of new ideas and innovations. NHPCO reports that in 2011, hospices provided care and services for 44 percent of U.S. deaths.This reflects continued growth in Americans utilizing hospice care services, however, more than a third of patients received care for seven days or less.
The need for hospice providers to reach patients earlier in the course of an illness remains an important issue to the field.
Considered to be the model for quality, compassionate care for people facing a life-limiting illness or injury, hospice palliative care involves a team-oriented approach to expert medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support expressly tailored to the person’s needs and wishes. Support is provided to the person’s loved ones as well.
Hospices are the largest providers of palliative care services in the U.S. and the Futuring Forum builds on this depth of experience and insight in caring for patients and family caregivers.