GRAND JUNCTION, Co., Aug. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 300 physicians in rural Mesa County, Colorado are coming together to change their approach to medicine and end-of-life care in an unprecedented way.
The physician members of the Mesa County Physician Independent Practice Association (MCPIPA) are working together with palliative care expert Dr. David West to develop new approaches to care and build systems to implement them, including an incentive program provided by MCPIPA to encourage adaptation. The goal is for all physicians to have skills to discuss, educate and guide patients and families facing serious illnesses to direct the care they desire.
The collaboration was initiated when Dr. West approached MCPIPA with the idea of partnering to provide education on end-of-life-care, inspired from his experience as VP of Medical Affairs at HopeWest – a regional hospice and palliative care organization. He was also inspired by presentations by Dr. Atul Gawande, a nationally renowned surgeon and author, and his book Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End.
The educational undertaking began with presentations given by Dr. West highlighting the issues of coordinating care for seriously ill individuals. In addition, each physician received a copy of Being Mortal to read and report back on their findings. Physicians have created individual implementation plans to ensure they are completing advance directives for patients with serious illnesses. The collaboration is currently meeting in groups to discuss Being Mortal and will meet again in the fall to learn more, specifically about palliative care.
As a goal of the program, physicians will increase in-depth doctor-to-patient conversations about end-of-life care, assist patients with completing advance directives, and introduce palliative care practices earlier in the disease progression for individuals with a serious illness.
"With nearly all physicians in Mesa County learning and working together, we hope this educational program will transform care and enhance the quality of life for our community," said Dr. West. "We have a history of working together, and we hope these combined efforts will create even better care for patients and their families facing serious illness."
To get more information about the education initiative being led by HopeWest in partnership with MCPIPA, please contact Alyssa Hampson at 970-241-2212.