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GeriPal - A Geriatrics and Palliative Care Podcast

GeriPal - A Geriatrics and Palliative Care Podcast

7
Followers
17
Plays
GeriPal - A Geriatrics and Palliative Care Podcast

GeriPal - A Geriatrics and Palliative Care Podcast

GeriPal - A Geriatrics and Palliative Care Podcast

7
Followers
17
Plays
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About Us

We invite the brightest minds in geriatrics, hospice, and palliative care to talk about the topics that you care most about, ranging from recently published research in the field to controversies that keep us up at night. You'll laugh, learn and maybe sing along. Hosted by Eric Widera and Alex Smith.

Latest Episodes

Communication Skills in a time of Crises: A Podcast with VitalTalk Faculty Drs. Back and Anderson

Despite being in the field over 15 years, I've never felt so far outside my comfort zone as as palliative care provider as I have felt in the last four months. A worldwide pandemic of a novel virus had me questioning how I communicate prognostic information when uncertainty was one of the few things I was certain about. It also pushed me to have these conversations via telemedicine, something I was previously more than happy to leave as a tool for only outpatient providers. The pandemic and the murder of George Floyd brought to the forefront the systemic racism that permeates our society and my own inadequacies in discussing the trauma that these killings and mistreatment have on black Americans. We grow though when we are pushed outside of our comfort zones. I'm pretty sure Tony Back, the co-founder of VitalTalk, would probably say that I have found my "learning edge". Lucky for me, we have Tony, along with another VitalTalk guru, Wendy Anderson, on today's GeriPal Podcast, to give some tips on how to approach communication skills in a time of crises. I'd like to highlight some of the exceptional Vitaltalk resources that we talked about on the podcast that can help to improve our communication skills, including (note: links to the following resources can be found on GeriPal.org). - Vital Talk COVID resources - A graphical version of the VitalTalk COVID playbook by Tony and Nathan Gray published in BMJ - Communication Skills in the Age of COVID-19 paper in Annals of Internal Medicine and the video commentary - Vital Talk's Communication skills for bridging inequity - Decompress, the podcast (Apple podcast link here) I'd also like to mention one other great resource that I came across by Drs. Marva Robinson and - Keisha Ross from the St. Louis VA, and Dr. Maurice Endsley from the Hines VA: - Discussing Community Trauma in Response to Killings and Mistreatment ofBlack and Brown Americans by: @ewidera

53 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Communication Skills in a time of Crises: A Podcast with VitalTalk Faculty Drs. Back and Anderson

Elder Mistreatment: Podcast with Laura Mosqueda

If you looked at the academic literature, you would think that elder abuse and neglect, collectively called elder mistreatment, did not exist before the 1990s. Of course that's not true at all, it was hidden, covered, and not a major subject of research. Several pioneers have placed elder mistreatment firmly on the map, including XinQi Dong, Mark Lachs, and today's GeriPal podcast guest, Dean Laura Mosqueda (@MosquedaMD) of the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California and Director of the National Center of Elder Abuse. Archstone Foundation, who funds our podcast, was a critical early investor in efforts to raise awareness, study, and intervene to prevent elder mistreatment. Today we learn about what a long term care Ombudsman is, about the impact of Covid19 on elder mistreatment, and ethical issues at the core of elder mistreatment (autonomy vs. safety and public health). One major take home point that I'd like to emphasize here are three questions that Dean Mosqueda asks of all of her patients by way of screening: 1. Is anybody hurting you? 2. Are you afraid of anybody? 3. Is anybody using your money without your permission? Finally, June 15th is Elder Abuse Awareness Day, and here's a link to find out more about how you can get involved. And great song choice - Veronica by Elvis Costello - check out this YouTube video of Elvis talking about his grandmother who had Alzheimer's dementia and how talking with her he would "bounce around the years." Enjoy! -@AlexSithMD

48 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Elder Mistreatment: Podcast with Laura Mosqueda

Outsized Impact of COVID19 on Minority Communities: Podcast with Monica Peek and Alicia Fernandez

This was a remarkable podcast. Eric and I were blown away by the eloquence of our guests, who were able to speak to this moment in which our country is hurting in so many ways. Today's topic is the impact of COVID19 on minority communities, but we start with a check in about George Floyd's murder and subsequent protests across the country. Our guest Monica Peek, Associate Professor of Medicine and Director of Research at the MacLean Center of Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago, notes right off the bat: COVID19 and the reaction to Floyd are related. The covid epidemic has created an economic crisis, a heightened level of worry, and a disproportionate number of deaths among the African American community. When we add COVID on top of the long history of police brutality that has been heightened over the last several years that has been ignored by the federal government - in that context, it's not surprising that we're seeing protesters put their lives on the line to stand up for what they believe in. These protesters are putting their lives on the line due to the twin risks of reprisals from police or national guard, as well as the risk of acquiring COVID during a protest. As we turn later to the topic of COVID19 and impact on minority communities, Alicia Fernandez, Professor of Medicine at UCSF and Director of the UCSF Latinx Center of Excellence, notes that so many people reach for a biologic rationale for the excess exposure and mortality among minority communities - it's a genetic factor, it's racial/ethnic differences in ACE receptors, or it's the higher rates of diabetes and kidney disease among minority communities. How is it then that Latinos, and immigrants in particular, who tend to be younger and healthier, have higher mortality rates? What COVID19 is exposing are the underlying disparities in social determinants of health. For example, Africans Americans and Latinos represent a disproportionate share of essential workers, are more likely to live together in multigenerational households, and may reside in areas with less access to testing and high quality hospital care. We turn finally, to what we can do. As Monica says, "This is the fight of our lives. And this may be our last fight." Alicia notes that we need better reporting about detailed race, ethnicity, and language of people impacted by COVID for public health reasons. We talk about the need for professional interpreters for all goals of care conversations with patients (and Yael Shenker and Alicia's must read article for all clinicians on this topic). And we return to Doug White's framework that persons who reside in areas with a high Area of Deprivation Index score get a boost in their chances of obtaining scarce treatments for COVID. Finally, I encourage you all to watch this YouTube video of the song Seriously (song choice for the Podcast), sung by Leslie Odom Junior (Aaron Burr in the original Hamilton), about how Barak Obama might have reacted aloud to the 2016 election. It's speaks to this moment as well. The link is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hI8TCA3fJcs -@AlexSmithMD

46 MINJUN 5
Comments
Outsized Impact of COVID19 on Minority Communities: Podcast with Monica Peek and Alicia Fernandez

Rationing of Scarce COVID-19 Drug Treatments: A Podcast with Drs. DeJong, Chen, and White

The question of who should get limited supplies of drugs that treat COVID-19 is not a theoretical question, like what seems to have happened with ventilators in the US. This is happening now. Hospitals right now have limited courses of remdesivir. For example the University of Pittsburgh hospital system has about 50 courses of remdsivir. They expect it to last to mid-June, enough for about 30% of patients who will present in the next 3 weeks. Who do you give it to? The first that present to the hospital (give it all away in the first week)? Random lottery? Or something else that is also accounts for the greater impact of COVID-19 has on disadvantaged communities ? On today's Podcast we talk with Colette DeJong, 3rd year medicine resident at UCSF, and Alice Hm Chen, Deputy Secretary for Policy and Planning at the California Health and Human Services Agency, who were two of the authors of a recently published JAMA article titled "An Ethical Framework for Allocating Scarce Inpatient Medications for COVID-19 in the US". We also bring on our repeat guest, Doug White, who authored the University of Pittsburgh model hospital policy for fair allocation of scarce COVID-19 medications, which can be found here. The University of Pittsburgh allocation strategy doesn't use a first-come, first-served or random allocation, but rather a waited lottery that is aimed at reducing the impact of social inequities on COVID-19 outcomes in disadvantaged communities. In particular, the following groups receive heightened priority in this framework: Individuals from disadvantaged areas, defined as residing at an address with an Area Deprivation Index score of 8 to 10 (range 1-10; with higher numbers meaning worse deprivation) Essential workers, defined by the state’s list of essential businesses that are required to continue physical operations during the pandemic, which include lower-paid workers who may be socially and economically vulnerable, such as grocery store clerks, bus drivers, agricultural workers, and custodial workers. Of note, the Area Deprivation Index was developed in large part by Amy Kind, Geriatrician at the University of Wisconsin, and recipient of the 2019 American Geriatrics Society Thomas and Catherine Yoshikawa Award for Excellence in Scientific Achievement. by: @ewidera NOTE: Links to the papers discussed above can be found on our blog site at GeriPal.org

49 MINJUN 3
Comments
Rationing of Scarce COVID-19 Drug Treatments: A Podcast with Drs. DeJong, Chen, and White

Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors: Podcast with Laura Petrillo

Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors. They are revolutionary and transforming cancer care. They shrink tumors and extend lives. Plus they have a better side effect profile than traditional therapies for conditions like metastatic lung cancer, so when those with really poor performance status can't tolerate traditional chemotherapy, immune checkpoint inhibitors are an attractive option. We talk on today's podcast with Laura Petrillo, a palliative medicine clinician and investigator at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Laura was the first author of a paper published in Cancer titled "Performance Status and End-Of-Life Care Among Adults With Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Receiving Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors." (https://acsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/cncr.32782) In this study, Laura looked at 237 patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer who initiated immune checkpoint inhibitors from 2015 to 2017. She found that those with impaired performance status had significantly shorter survival after treatment with these medications that those with a bettter performance status. They also receive immune checkpoint inhibitors near death more often than those with better performance status, and they found that those recieving immune checkpoint inhibitors near the end of life had lower hospice use and an increased risk of death in the hospital. Along with how we should think about the findings of this study, we talk about common side effects of immune checkpoint inhitors that geriatricians and palliative care clinicians should know about, the cost of theses medications, and the differences with different types of cancer treatments like "targeted therapies". by: @ewidera

39 MINMAY 30
Comments
Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors: Podcast with Laura Petrillo

Ramping up Tele-GeriPal in a Pandemic: Claire Ankuda, Chris Woodrell, Ashwin Kotwal, & Lynn Flint

As Ashwin Kotwal and Lynn Flint note in the introduction to their Annals of Internal Medicine essay (https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/full/10.7326/M20-1982?journalCode=aim), one year ago people were outraged at the thought of a physician using video to deliver bad news to a seriously ill man in the ICU. And look at where we are today. Video and telephone consults at home, in the ICU, and in the ED are common, accepted, and normal. What a difference a year makes. This week, in addition to Ashwin and Lynn, we talk with Claire Ankuda and Chris Woodrell from Mt Sinai in NYC about their experience with telephone and video palliative care. Claire and Chris recently published a terrific NEJM Catalyst piece about their remarkable ramp up of a telephone based palliative care consult service. Take a look at the figure depicting time trends of health system confirmed/suspected COVID19 cases in their health system and the dramatic rise in tele-palliative care consults (https://catalyst.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/CAT.20.0204). Their service peaked at 50 consults per day, and as they note, that is likely an undercount. About half of the consults were in the ED. Ashwin and Lynn talk about the nuts and bolts of of how to prepare and conduct video and telephone based serious illness discussions with patients, as described in their Annals essay. Eric and I talk briefly about our experience conducting palliative care consults remotely with patients at New York Presbyterian Columbia, described in our recent JAGS paper. And (bonus!) you get to sing along to "Call Me Maybe." -@AlexSmithMD

45 MINMAY 27
Comments
Ramping up Tele-GeriPal in a Pandemic: Claire Ankuda, Chris Woodrell, Ashwin Kotwal, & Lynn Flint

Palliative Care for Individuals with Parkinson’s Disease: Podcast with Benzi Kluger

Parkinson disease affects 1% to 2% of people older than 65 years. Most known for its distinctive motor symptoms, other distressing symptoms are pain, fatigue, depression, and cognitive impairment. About 2/3rds of individuals with Parkinson's will die from disease-related complications, making it the 14th leading cause of death in the United States. While there are great palliative care needs for this population, little has been published on how best to meet these needs. On today's podcast we talk with Benzi Kluger from the University of Rochester Medical Center and the lead author of a JAMA Neurology paper that compares outpatient integrated palliative care with standard care alone in 210 patients and 175 caregivers. Every 3 months for a year, participants received palliative care visits either in person or via telemedicine from a neurologist, social worker, chaplain, and nurse with guidance from a palliative medicine specialist. Benzi's study demonstrated the palliative care group had better quality of life, symptoms burden, and advance directive completion. In addition to talking about the study, we get tips on how best to care for Parkinson's patients, both in palliative care and geriatrics. We also discuss some of these other helpful articles (visit our blog post at https://bit.ly/3c1EkwE for the links): - Implementation issues relevant to outpatient neurology palliative care. Ann Palliat Med. 2018 - Top Ten Tips Palliative Care Clinicians Should Know About Parkinson's Disease and Related Disorders. J Palliat Med. 2018 - Palliative care and Parkinson's disease: outpatient needs and models of care over the disease trajectory. Ann Palliat Med. 2020 - Palliative Care and Parkinson's Disease: Caregiver Perspectives. J Palliat Med. 2017 - Parkinson disease patients' perspectives on palliative care needs: What are they telling us?

36 MINMAY 23
Comments
Palliative Care for Individuals with Parkinson’s Disease: Podcast with Benzi Kluger

COVID19 in Prisons

Eight of the 10 largest outbreaks in the US have been in correctional facilities. Physical distancing is impossible in prisons and jails - they're not built for it. Walkways 3 feet wide. Bunk beds where you can feel your neighbor's breath. To compound the issue, prisoners are afraid that if they admit they're sick they will be "put in the hole" (solitary confinement). So they don't admit when they're sick. Many people think of prisons as disconnected from society. Like a cruise ship. "It's happening between those walls, behind the barbed wire, not out here." But for every two people in a correctional facility there's about 1 person who works in the correctional facility and lives in the community. The workers are bringing whatever they've been exposed to in prison out into the community, and bringing whatever they've been exposed to in the community into the prisons. This is a national problem, not a prison or a jail problem. We learned about these critical issues in our podcast wit...

54 MINMAY 20
Comments
COVID19 in Prisons

Do Sitters Prevent Falls for Hospitalized Patients?

One million inpatient falls occur annually in U.S. acute care hospitals. Sitters, also referred to as Continuous Patient Aids (CPA's) or safety attendants, are frequently used to prevent falls in high-risk patients. While it may make intuitive sense to use sitters to prevent falls, it does beg the question, what's the evidence that they work? We discussed with Drs. Adela Greeley and Paul Shekelle from the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center their recent systematic review published in Annals of Internal Medicine. Their review identified 20 studies looking at this issue (none of which are randomized trials). To sum up their findings, there were only two studies comparing sitters to usual care and they came up with conflicting conclusions (in one, the fall rate was lowered; in the other, it was not). In the other 18 studies, alternatives to sitter use were evaluated. The only thing that seems to have some evidence for was video monitoring (fall rates either stayed the same or improved, with a decrease in sitter usage). We also talk about multi-component interventions and how we should think about them. One intervention that is sometimes included in multicomponent interventions are bed alarms, which we discussed in our very first GeriPal podcast. It's also the podcast where we dreamed up the "anti-bed alarm" that would alert patients who haven't gotten out of bed yet. Now that's a fall intervention that that I can get behind. by: Eric Widera / Twitter @ewidera

30 MINMAY 16
Comments
Do Sitters Prevent Falls for Hospitalized Patients?

Should Age be Used To Ration Scarce Resources? Podcast with Tim Farrell and Doug White

We are rationing in the US. We may not be explicitly rationing, as we're going to discuss on this podcast, but we are rationing - in the way we allocate fewer tests and less PPE to nursing homes compared to hospitals, in the way we allow hospitals and states to "fend for themselves" resulting in those hospitals/states with better connections and more resources having more PPE and testing availability. And in some parts of the world, ICU and ventilator resources are scare, and they are rationing by age. We talked on our last podcast about decisions Italy made to ration by age, and on this podcast we talk about two countries in South America we have heard are using age as a criteria for rationing ventilators. In this context, we are fortunate to welcome Tim Farrell, Associate Professor of Geriatrics at the University of Utah and Vice Chair of the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) Ethics Committee, and returning guest Doug White, Vice Chair and Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. In our prior podcast with Doug we talked about his University of Pittsburgh (and colleagues) policy for allocation of scarce resources that has been adopted by over a hundred hospitals. Today's podcast is focused on the release of the AGS guidelines for allocation of scarce resources and the accompanying paper that explains the ethical rationale behind the AGS ethics committee's decisions. Both papers are available now on the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (JAGS) COVID19 webpage. We talk about how the AGS and Pittsburgh guidelines are far more similar than different, and the ethical principles that led them to make the choices they made, and how these choices have evolved over time. The two issues we cover in depth are: (1) Should age be used to ration scarce resources? How should age be used, if at all, as an "up front" consideration, or a "tiebreak?" And (2) How should we account for socioeconomic determinants of health in resource allocation decision making? Stay healthy and safe, and keep doing the good work that you're doing, GeriPal listeners. -@AlexSmithMD

39 MINMAY 13
Comments
Should Age be Used To Ration Scarce Resources? Podcast with Tim Farrell and Doug White

Latest Episodes

Communication Skills in a time of Crises: A Podcast with VitalTalk Faculty Drs. Back and Anderson

Despite being in the field over 15 years, I've never felt so far outside my comfort zone as as palliative care provider as I have felt in the last four months. A worldwide pandemic of a novel virus had me questioning how I communicate prognostic information when uncertainty was one of the few things I was certain about. It also pushed me to have these conversations via telemedicine, something I was previously more than happy to leave as a tool for only outpatient providers. The pandemic and the murder of George Floyd brought to the forefront the systemic racism that permeates our society and my own inadequacies in discussing the trauma that these killings and mistreatment have on black Americans. We grow though when we are pushed outside of our comfort zones. I'm pretty sure Tony Back, the co-founder of VitalTalk, would probably say that I have found my "learning edge". Lucky for me, we have Tony, along with another VitalTalk guru, Wendy Anderson, on today's GeriPal Podcast, to give some tips on how to approach communication skills in a time of crises. I'd like to highlight some of the exceptional Vitaltalk resources that we talked about on the podcast that can help to improve our communication skills, including (note: links to the following resources can be found on GeriPal.org). - Vital Talk COVID resources - A graphical version of the VitalTalk COVID playbook by Tony and Nathan Gray published in BMJ - Communication Skills in the Age of COVID-19 paper in Annals of Internal Medicine and the video commentary - Vital Talk's Communication skills for bridging inequity - Decompress, the podcast (Apple podcast link here) I'd also like to mention one other great resource that I came across by Drs. Marva Robinson and - Keisha Ross from the St. Louis VA, and Dr. Maurice Endsley from the Hines VA: - Discussing Community Trauma in Response to Killings and Mistreatment ofBlack and Brown Americans by: @ewidera

53 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Communication Skills in a time of Crises: A Podcast with VitalTalk Faculty Drs. Back and Anderson

Elder Mistreatment: Podcast with Laura Mosqueda

If you looked at the academic literature, you would think that elder abuse and neglect, collectively called elder mistreatment, did not exist before the 1990s. Of course that's not true at all, it was hidden, covered, and not a major subject of research. Several pioneers have placed elder mistreatment firmly on the map, including XinQi Dong, Mark Lachs, and today's GeriPal podcast guest, Dean Laura Mosqueda (@MosquedaMD) of the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California and Director of the National Center of Elder Abuse. Archstone Foundation, who funds our podcast, was a critical early investor in efforts to raise awareness, study, and intervene to prevent elder mistreatment. Today we learn about what a long term care Ombudsman is, about the impact of Covid19 on elder mistreatment, and ethical issues at the core of elder mistreatment (autonomy vs. safety and public health). One major take home point that I'd like to emphasize here are three questions that Dean Mosqueda asks of all of her patients by way of screening: 1. Is anybody hurting you? 2. Are you afraid of anybody? 3. Is anybody using your money without your permission? Finally, June 15th is Elder Abuse Awareness Day, and here's a link to find out more about how you can get involved. And great song choice - Veronica by Elvis Costello - check out this YouTube video of Elvis talking about his grandmother who had Alzheimer's dementia and how talking with her he would "bounce around the years." Enjoy! -@AlexSithMD

48 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Elder Mistreatment: Podcast with Laura Mosqueda

Outsized Impact of COVID19 on Minority Communities: Podcast with Monica Peek and Alicia Fernandez

This was a remarkable podcast. Eric and I were blown away by the eloquence of our guests, who were able to speak to this moment in which our country is hurting in so many ways. Today's topic is the impact of COVID19 on minority communities, but we start with a check in about George Floyd's murder and subsequent protests across the country. Our guest Monica Peek, Associate Professor of Medicine and Director of Research at the MacLean Center of Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago, notes right off the bat: COVID19 and the reaction to Floyd are related. The covid epidemic has created an economic crisis, a heightened level of worry, and a disproportionate number of deaths among the African American community. When we add COVID on top of the long history of police brutality that has been heightened over the last several years that has been ignored by the federal government - in that context, it's not surprising that we're seeing protesters put their lives on the line to stand up for what they believe in. These protesters are putting their lives on the line due to the twin risks of reprisals from police or national guard, as well as the risk of acquiring COVID during a protest. As we turn later to the topic of COVID19 and impact on minority communities, Alicia Fernandez, Professor of Medicine at UCSF and Director of the UCSF Latinx Center of Excellence, notes that so many people reach for a biologic rationale for the excess exposure and mortality among minority communities - it's a genetic factor, it's racial/ethnic differences in ACE receptors, or it's the higher rates of diabetes and kidney disease among minority communities. How is it then that Latinos, and immigrants in particular, who tend to be younger and healthier, have higher mortality rates? What COVID19 is exposing are the underlying disparities in social determinants of health. For example, Africans Americans and Latinos represent a disproportionate share of essential workers, are more likely to live together in multigenerational households, and may reside in areas with less access to testing and high quality hospital care. We turn finally, to what we can do. As Monica says, "This is the fight of our lives. And this may be our last fight." Alicia notes that we need better reporting about detailed race, ethnicity, and language of people impacted by COVID for public health reasons. We talk about the need for professional interpreters for all goals of care conversations with patients (and Yael Shenker and Alicia's must read article for all clinicians on this topic). And we return to Doug White's framework that persons who reside in areas with a high Area of Deprivation Index score get a boost in their chances of obtaining scarce treatments for COVID. Finally, I encourage you all to watch this YouTube video of the song Seriously (song choice for the Podcast), sung by Leslie Odom Junior (Aaron Burr in the original Hamilton), about how Barak Obama might have reacted aloud to the 2016 election. It's speaks to this moment as well. The link is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hI8TCA3fJcs -@AlexSmithMD

46 MINJUN 5
Comments
Outsized Impact of COVID19 on Minority Communities: Podcast with Monica Peek and Alicia Fernandez

Rationing of Scarce COVID-19 Drug Treatments: A Podcast with Drs. DeJong, Chen, and White

The question of who should get limited supplies of drugs that treat COVID-19 is not a theoretical question, like what seems to have happened with ventilators in the US. This is happening now. Hospitals right now have limited courses of remdesivir. For example the University of Pittsburgh hospital system has about 50 courses of remdsivir. They expect it to last to mid-June, enough for about 30% of patients who will present in the next 3 weeks. Who do you give it to? The first that present to the hospital (give it all away in the first week)? Random lottery? Or something else that is also accounts for the greater impact of COVID-19 has on disadvantaged communities ? On today's Podcast we talk with Colette DeJong, 3rd year medicine resident at UCSF, and Alice Hm Chen, Deputy Secretary for Policy and Planning at the California Health and Human Services Agency, who were two of the authors of a recently published JAMA article titled "An Ethical Framework for Allocating Scarce Inpatient Medications for COVID-19 in the US". We also bring on our repeat guest, Doug White, who authored the University of Pittsburgh model hospital policy for fair allocation of scarce COVID-19 medications, which can be found here. The University of Pittsburgh allocation strategy doesn't use a first-come, first-served or random allocation, but rather a waited lottery that is aimed at reducing the impact of social inequities on COVID-19 outcomes in disadvantaged communities. In particular, the following groups receive heightened priority in this framework: Individuals from disadvantaged areas, defined as residing at an address with an Area Deprivation Index score of 8 to 10 (range 1-10; with higher numbers meaning worse deprivation) Essential workers, defined by the state’s list of essential businesses that are required to continue physical operations during the pandemic, which include lower-paid workers who may be socially and economically vulnerable, such as grocery store clerks, bus drivers, agricultural workers, and custodial workers. Of note, the Area Deprivation Index was developed in large part by Amy Kind, Geriatrician at the University of Wisconsin, and recipient of the 2019 American Geriatrics Society Thomas and Catherine Yoshikawa Award for Excellence in Scientific Achievement. by: @ewidera NOTE: Links to the papers discussed above can be found on our blog site at GeriPal.org

49 MINJUN 3
Comments
Rationing of Scarce COVID-19 Drug Treatments: A Podcast with Drs. DeJong, Chen, and White

Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors: Podcast with Laura Petrillo

Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors. They are revolutionary and transforming cancer care. They shrink tumors and extend lives. Plus they have a better side effect profile than traditional therapies for conditions like metastatic lung cancer, so when those with really poor performance status can't tolerate traditional chemotherapy, immune checkpoint inhibitors are an attractive option. We talk on today's podcast with Laura Petrillo, a palliative medicine clinician and investigator at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Laura was the first author of a paper published in Cancer titled "Performance Status and End-Of-Life Care Among Adults With Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Receiving Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors." (https://acsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/cncr.32782) In this study, Laura looked at 237 patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer who initiated immune checkpoint inhibitors from 2015 to 2017. She found that those with impaired performance status had significantly shorter survival after treatment with these medications that those with a bettter performance status. They also receive immune checkpoint inhibitors near death more often than those with better performance status, and they found that those recieving immune checkpoint inhibitors near the end of life had lower hospice use and an increased risk of death in the hospital. Along with how we should think about the findings of this study, we talk about common side effects of immune checkpoint inhitors that geriatricians and palliative care clinicians should know about, the cost of theses medications, and the differences with different types of cancer treatments like "targeted therapies". by: @ewidera

39 MINMAY 30
Comments
Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors: Podcast with Laura Petrillo

Ramping up Tele-GeriPal in a Pandemic: Claire Ankuda, Chris Woodrell, Ashwin Kotwal, & Lynn Flint

As Ashwin Kotwal and Lynn Flint note in the introduction to their Annals of Internal Medicine essay (https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/full/10.7326/M20-1982?journalCode=aim), one year ago people were outraged at the thought of a physician using video to deliver bad news to a seriously ill man in the ICU. And look at where we are today. Video and telephone consults at home, in the ICU, and in the ED are common, accepted, and normal. What a difference a year makes. This week, in addition to Ashwin and Lynn, we talk with Claire Ankuda and Chris Woodrell from Mt Sinai in NYC about their experience with telephone and video palliative care. Claire and Chris recently published a terrific NEJM Catalyst piece about their remarkable ramp up of a telephone based palliative care consult service. Take a look at the figure depicting time trends of health system confirmed/suspected COVID19 cases in their health system and the dramatic rise in tele-palliative care consults (https://catalyst.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/CAT.20.0204). Their service peaked at 50 consults per day, and as they note, that is likely an undercount. About half of the consults were in the ED. Ashwin and Lynn talk about the nuts and bolts of of how to prepare and conduct video and telephone based serious illness discussions with patients, as described in their Annals essay. Eric and I talk briefly about our experience conducting palliative care consults remotely with patients at New York Presbyterian Columbia, described in our recent JAGS paper. And (bonus!) you get to sing along to "Call Me Maybe." -@AlexSmithMD

45 MINMAY 27
Comments
Ramping up Tele-GeriPal in a Pandemic: Claire Ankuda, Chris Woodrell, Ashwin Kotwal, & Lynn Flint

Palliative Care for Individuals with Parkinson’s Disease: Podcast with Benzi Kluger

Parkinson disease affects 1% to 2% of people older than 65 years. Most known for its distinctive motor symptoms, other distressing symptoms are pain, fatigue, depression, and cognitive impairment. About 2/3rds of individuals with Parkinson's will die from disease-related complications, making it the 14th leading cause of death in the United States. While there are great palliative care needs for this population, little has been published on how best to meet these needs. On today's podcast we talk with Benzi Kluger from the University of Rochester Medical Center and the lead author of a JAMA Neurology paper that compares outpatient integrated palliative care with standard care alone in 210 patients and 175 caregivers. Every 3 months for a year, participants received palliative care visits either in person or via telemedicine from a neurologist, social worker, chaplain, and nurse with guidance from a palliative medicine specialist. Benzi's study demonstrated the palliative care group had better quality of life, symptoms burden, and advance directive completion. In addition to talking about the study, we get tips on how best to care for Parkinson's patients, both in palliative care and geriatrics. We also discuss some of these other helpful articles (visit our blog post at https://bit.ly/3c1EkwE for the links): - Implementation issues relevant to outpatient neurology palliative care. Ann Palliat Med. 2018 - Top Ten Tips Palliative Care Clinicians Should Know About Parkinson's Disease and Related Disorders. J Palliat Med. 2018 - Palliative care and Parkinson's disease: outpatient needs and models of care over the disease trajectory. Ann Palliat Med. 2020 - Palliative Care and Parkinson's Disease: Caregiver Perspectives. J Palliat Med. 2017 - Parkinson disease patients' perspectives on palliative care needs: What are they telling us?

36 MINMAY 23
Comments
Palliative Care for Individuals with Parkinson’s Disease: Podcast with Benzi Kluger

COVID19 in Prisons

Eight of the 10 largest outbreaks in the US have been in correctional facilities. Physical distancing is impossible in prisons and jails - they're not built for it. Walkways 3 feet wide. Bunk beds where you can feel your neighbor's breath. To compound the issue, prisoners are afraid that if they admit they're sick they will be "put in the hole" (solitary confinement). So they don't admit when they're sick. Many people think of prisons as disconnected from society. Like a cruise ship. "It's happening between those walls, behind the barbed wire, not out here." But for every two people in a correctional facility there's about 1 person who works in the correctional facility and lives in the community. The workers are bringing whatever they've been exposed to in prison out into the community, and bringing whatever they've been exposed to in the community into the prisons. This is a national problem, not a prison or a jail problem. We learned about these critical issues in our podcast wit...

54 MINMAY 20
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COVID19 in Prisons

Do Sitters Prevent Falls for Hospitalized Patients?

One million inpatient falls occur annually in U.S. acute care hospitals. Sitters, also referred to as Continuous Patient Aids (CPA's) or safety attendants, are frequently used to prevent falls in high-risk patients. While it may make intuitive sense to use sitters to prevent falls, it does beg the question, what's the evidence that they work? We discussed with Drs. Adela Greeley and Paul Shekelle from the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center their recent systematic review published in Annals of Internal Medicine. Their review identified 20 studies looking at this issue (none of which are randomized trials). To sum up their findings, there were only two studies comparing sitters to usual care and they came up with conflicting conclusions (in one, the fall rate was lowered; in the other, it was not). In the other 18 studies, alternatives to sitter use were evaluated. The only thing that seems to have some evidence for was video monitoring (fall rates either stayed the same or improved, with a decrease in sitter usage). We also talk about multi-component interventions and how we should think about them. One intervention that is sometimes included in multicomponent interventions are bed alarms, which we discussed in our very first GeriPal podcast. It's also the podcast where we dreamed up the "anti-bed alarm" that would alert patients who haven't gotten out of bed yet. Now that's a fall intervention that that I can get behind. by: Eric Widera / Twitter @ewidera

30 MINMAY 16
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Do Sitters Prevent Falls for Hospitalized Patients?

Should Age be Used To Ration Scarce Resources? Podcast with Tim Farrell and Doug White

We are rationing in the US. We may not be explicitly rationing, as we're going to discuss on this podcast, but we are rationing - in the way we allocate fewer tests and less PPE to nursing homes compared to hospitals, in the way we allow hospitals and states to "fend for themselves" resulting in those hospitals/states with better connections and more resources having more PPE and testing availability. And in some parts of the world, ICU and ventilator resources are scare, and they are rationing by age. We talked on our last podcast about decisions Italy made to ration by age, and on this podcast we talk about two countries in South America we have heard are using age as a criteria for rationing ventilators. In this context, we are fortunate to welcome Tim Farrell, Associate Professor of Geriatrics at the University of Utah and Vice Chair of the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) Ethics Committee, and returning guest Doug White, Vice Chair and Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. In our prior podcast with Doug we talked about his University of Pittsburgh (and colleagues) policy for allocation of scarce resources that has been adopted by over a hundred hospitals. Today's podcast is focused on the release of the AGS guidelines for allocation of scarce resources and the accompanying paper that explains the ethical rationale behind the AGS ethics committee's decisions. Both papers are available now on the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (JAGS) COVID19 webpage. We talk about how the AGS and Pittsburgh guidelines are far more similar than different, and the ethical principles that led them to make the choices they made, and how these choices have evolved over time. The two issues we cover in depth are: (1) Should age be used to ration scarce resources? How should age be used, if at all, as an "up front" consideration, or a "tiebreak?" And (2) How should we account for socioeconomic determinants of health in resource allocation decision making? Stay healthy and safe, and keep doing the good work that you're doing, GeriPal listeners. -@AlexSmithMD

39 MINMAY 13
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Should Age be Used To Ration Scarce Resources? Podcast with Tim Farrell and Doug White
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