I will host Hospice and Palliative Care Tweet Chat — #HPM

#hpm chat 2015 02 11This Wednesday Feb 11th, at 9 PM EST, one day after PBS Frontline features Dr. Atul Gawande and his new book Being Mortal, I will guest host the Hospice and Palliative Care (#HPM) Tweet Chat.

Dr. Christian Sinclair is a physician leader in HPM and a co-editor of Pallimed. He recently commented on my stewardship piece on theHeart.org. Christian then emailed me to ask whether I wold host #HPM chat on Twitter.

I agreed because I know cardiologists could benefit from talking with hospice and palliative care pros.

The good news about medical technology is that people are living longer. That is also the challenge. Cardiologists are increasingly called on to treat the elderly and frail. We are innovators and doers, but human beings are not immortal.

Yet, I am sure of this: When life-prolonging measures are no longer effective or desired by the patient, the opportunity to deliver care, beautiful care, remains. It is just that most doctors have little (to no) training in helping patients transition to care with different goals. Too often, we fail to see that there is always something else to do.

Here are the three proposed topics:

T1: Frailty is an important predictor of outcomes, but how do we get specialists to see it, talk about it, and use it in decision making? (re: the coming revolution in percutaneous valve surgery.)

T2: ICD generator-change surgery in the elderly: How do we best present the different paths? It seems a simple question but it is not because it means discussing competing causes of death. (We can use the Drs Drye case report in Circulation Outcomes.)

T3: What is the role of palliative care in advanced heart failure? Could early palliative care be as useful in advanced heart disease as it is in advanced lung cancer?

I hope you tune in–or even Tweet in.

JMM