“When We Document End-of-Life Care, Words Still Matter”

Posted in Scholarship  |  Tagged ,

Nurse holding patient's hand
Credit: Amro on Flickr

In this letter to the editor of the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, Dr. Hunter Groninger and Anne M. Kelemen highlight the findings of the study “Language Used by Health Care Professionals to Describe Dying at an Acute Care Hospital”. They refer to the communication practices of providers within the medical record, and how their discomfort in employing clear, direct terms when talking about dying can have unintended consequences, such as miscommunication, and missed or delayed opportunities to engage in the grieving process. They suggest using these findings for the hospice and palliative care field to clearly define best communication practices.

Read the letter article.