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CON’s Peterson Part of Collaborative Team Featured in Hartford Publication

Nicole Peterson

Honoring the Wishes of Nursing Home Residents

By The John A. Hartford Foundation | 9/3/2015

“Making sure that the wishes of nursing home residents are respected regarding health decisions has been a focus of Dr. Mercedes Bern-Klug’s career, especially as it relates to end-of-life decisions.When the Iowa Legislature enacted a law in 2012 that seemed simple and straightforward, Dr. Bern-Klug understood that it would be challenging to implement across the health system. The law created the Iowa Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment, known as IPOST, a double-sided, one-page, salmon-colored document that permits frail, older adults to clearly declare their preferences for such key life-sustaining treatments as CPR and feeding tubes.

“The document, says Dr. Bern-Klug, PhD, MSW, associate professor at the University of Iowa School of Social Work and director of the University of Iowa Aging Studies Program, is a medical order, ‘like a prescription for what to do or not do,’ that physically stays with a person wherever he or she goes within the health care system, from home to ambulance to hospital, from nursing home to hospice.

“Dr. Bern-Klug, whose research focuses on nursing homes, as well as palliative care and end-of-life issues, had already been working with Jane Dohrmann, MSW, a social worker with Iowa City Hospice, on a separate county-wide, advanced care planning initiative. And Dohrmann had been working with Nicole Peterson, DNP, ARNP, of the University of Iowa Hartford Center for Gerontological Nursing Excellence, who did her doctoral research project on how one local nursing home was trying to implement the new IPOST law.”

 ›› Click here to read the full article by the John A. Hartford Foundation

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Posted On: 
Oct 1st, 2015