Unmasking the Triumphs, Tragedies, and Opportunities of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Dr. Heyland recently published an article with Dr. Patel, titled, “Unmasking the Triumphs, Tragedies, and Opportunities of the COVID-19 Pandemic”. The article was featured as a cover story around ageing populations in ICU Management & Practice, a journal which focuses on best practice, leadership and management of critically ill patients based on the most recent clinical developments. The article highlights how COVID-19 has cast a light on problems with communication as it relates to decision-making for older individuals suffering from critical illness. It also reinforces how the pandemic has further impaired the decision-making process by serving as a barrier to timely and effective communication. The data suggests that poor-quality communication negatively impacts decision making, which can lead to over utilisation of ICU services for older individuals who did not want them in the first place, or who, once in an ICU, had their dying experience unnecessarily prolonged, and thus, the ICU experience merely served to enhance discomfort and suffering. Based on the research, Dr. Heyland suggests that perhaps by prioritizing ‘patient-centred’ care and optimal communication and decision-making practices, we could reduce unwanted ICU admissions, preserve resources, and delay, minimize, or even omit the ‘rationing’ conversation to ensure the right patient receives the right treatment at the right time to derive the right benefit. Dr. Heyland suggests a new approach to planning for serious illness called Advanced Serious Illness Preparations and Planning (ASIPP), which aims to prepare patients (or their surrogates) for ‘in the moment’ clinical decision-making.

To read the full article visit the e-publication, here: https://healthmanagement.org/c/icu/issuearticle/unmasking-the-triumphs-tragedies-and-opportunities-of-the-covid-19-pandemic

ICU Management & Practice – September 17, 2020

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