IMPROVING PATIENT CARE
Jaya K. Rao, MD, MHS, Deputy Editor
This article was published online first at www.annals.org on 9 December 2014.
Disclaimer: Dr. Rao worked at the CDC from 2000 to 2008, and the CDC funded the work that she describes here. She is currently Deputy Editor, Annals of Internal Medicine. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the American College of Physicians.
Acknowledgment: The author thanks Dr. Lynda Anderson from the CDC for her constructive comments on an earlier version of this commentary.
Disclosures: Disclosures can be viewed at www.acponline.org/authors/icmje/ConflictOfInterestForms.do?msNum=M14-2479.
Requests for Single Reprints: Jaya K. Rao, MD, MHS, American College of Physicians, 190 N. Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA 19106; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author Contributions:Conception and design: J.K. Rao.
Drafting of the article: J.K. Rao.
Critical revision of the article for important intellectual content: J.K. Rao.
Final approval of the article: J.K. Rao.
Rao JK. Engaging Public Health in End-of-Life Issues: It Is Time to Step Up to the Plate. Ann Intern Med. 2015;162:230-231. doi: 10.7326/M14-2479
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2015;162(3):230-231.
In September 2014, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released its fifth full report on end-of-life issues, “Dying in America: Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life” (1). Acknowledging the substantial progress made since its first report on these issues was published in 1997 (2), this report identifies recommendations within 5 domains. It is particularly encouraging to see the following recommendation for public education and engagement in the report: “Civic leaders, public health and other governmental agencies ... should engage their constituents and provide fact based information about care of people with advanced serious illness to encourage advance care planning and informed choice based on the needs and values of individuals.” Because I was one of the first authors to articulate a role for public health with respect to end-of-life issues (3) while I was working at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is noteworthy that this is the first IOM report to explicitly mention that public health has a role in this arena. By describing the work on end-of-life issues done by the public health community during the past decade, I hope that policymakers, members of the IOM Committee, and health professionals can use and build on these efforts.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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