Starting conversations is key to better patient outcomes

In an article by The West Australian News, “Confronting mortality and dying well”, Dr Blackwell recalls his experience as a carer for his wife, instead of a palliative care doctor.

“…It was the start of a five-year process he calls the “conversation” — where doctors and family are encouraged to discuss openly the best treatment options, even the “do nothing” plan…He remembers the highs and lows of the next four years, as they balanced the need to have the best possible drugs and therapy while having good quality of life for his wife…”

Here are some points noted in the article which we will like to share with you

  • End-of-life care is about a person, not their tumour marker score. The best indicator to measure the success of that process is how well the family grieves after their relative has died.
  • Doctors can fall into the trap of being blinkered by ordering tests and procedures for the frail and elderly, doing what they are comfortable with, rather than what is best for the patient

Read the full article here.