Measuring Quality Important for the Academy
Hospital-based Physician Will Identify Key Quality Topics That Inform Improvement
Steven Z Pantilat, MD, a physician whose practice resides primarily in the acute care setting as a hospitalist, is known for many awards, teaching, research and publications, yet this hospital-based practitioner’s passion is to make sure that people have their wishes honored, and that the care that people want becomes the default in the healthcare system. For Symposium attendees, Pantilat will be teaming with Marian Grant, DNP in a Symposium plenary presentation where they will be discussing policy and quality reporting initiatives that impact palliative care research and clinical practice.
Why is Measuring Quality Important?
Although seemingly clinically-oriented, why is Pantilat’s work, and issues of policy and quality important to the academy? How can those who are educating future professionals advance not only practices that glean patients’ wishes, spread resources for teaching and reinforcing conversation skills with patients and families, but also amplify among students or within research more data about how quality measures set policy and parameters for practice?
Measuring Informs Improvement
In the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management-published study of February 2015, Kamal, Pantilat et al. summarizes the answer to these questions:
“Assessment of quality informs opportunities for improvement and demonstrates to our peers and ourselves the value of our efforts. In fact, continuous messaging of the value of palliative care services is needed to sustain our discipline; this requires regularly evaluating the quality of our care. As the reimbursement mechanisms for health care in the U.S. shift from fee-for-service to fee-for-value models, palliative care will be expected to report robust data on quality of care.
“We must move beyond demonstrating to our constituents (including patients and referrers), ‘here is what we do,’ and increase the focus on ‘this is how well we do it’ and ‘let us see how we can do it better.’
It is a Job for Current and Future Professionals
The study above encapsulates the key reason quality measurement for symposium attendees here:
“It is incumbent on palliative care professionals to lead these efforts. This involves developing standardized methods to collect data without adding additional burden, comparing and sharing our experiences to promote discipline-wide quality assessment and improvement initiatives, and demonstrating our intentions for quality improvement on the clinical frontline.”
Tools to Demystify Healthcare Decisions
Pantilat and his team at UCSF’s Palliative Care Leadership Center have trained colleagues in over 200 hospitals across the country how to establish services for their patients, all to advance the mission of patient-centric care. On Valentine’s Day in 2017, Pantilat’s book “Life After the Diagnosis: Expert Advice on Living Well with Serious Illness for Patients and their Caregivers,” published by DaCapo Lifelong Books, gave his experience and tools directly to patients and families to helps them “demystify the medical system,” and make their best decisions for their medical care.
Dr. Pantilat’s passion in teaching, advancing quality and completing analysis, will bring Symposium attendees rich concepts that members of the academy can pass along to future professionals to apply in their current or future work.
 Pantilat, Steven, “What Palliative Care Teaches Us About Creating Consumer-Centric Experiences” – Cambia Health Solutions. http://www.leighbureau.com/speakers/SPantilat/#videos/161212.1651
 Kamal AH, Hanson LC, Casarett DJ, Dy SM, Pantilat SZ, Lupu D, Abernethy AP, “The quality imperative for palliative care.” Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. 2015 Feb;49(2):243-53.