Identifying barriers and solutions to effective communication between patients and healthcare providers was the topic of CCM’s community forum presented on March 12 in Woodstock, VT. In a presentation to community members and healthcare professionals, CCM founders Dr. Bernard Bandman and Celia Engel Bandman cited studies that show how avoiding discussion of difficult medical subjects—such as prognoses, benefits and risks of treatment options, and quality of life considerations—can result in unnecessary suffering and regrets, particularly for patients facing chronic and incurable illnesses. CCM’s Difficult Conversations Workbook was introduced as a guide to help patients better understand their issues and concerns in preparing to communicate with healthcare providers and loved ones about planning care. The program was supported by the Ottauquechee Health Foundation and Norman Williams Public Library.
Doctors caring for patients facing incurable illness often feel pressure to come up with a “miracle” treatment. But what if (more…)
The launch of SpeakSooner.org was the topic of discussion on “From My Corner,” a talk show that aired February 26 on WBTN, a southern Vermont radio station. Listeners heard CCM founders Dr. Bernard Bandman and Celia Engel Bandman describe the development of the Difficult Conversations video and workbook, which the SpeakSooner.org website combines to offer as an interactive tool. The Difficult Conversations Workbook can help prepare patients facing serious chronic and incurable illnesses to communicate with healthcare providers and loved ones. The discussion highlighted the goal of the SpeakSooner initiative: increasing public awareness about the patient’s responsibility in helping healthcare providers better understand their questions and concerns so that they can effectively partner in decisions about care.