Department of Health and Human Services Changes: Implications for Hospital Social Workers

Source: Annemarie Conlon and Patti A. Aldredge, Health & Social Work, First published online: January 30, 2013
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From the abstract:
In April 2010, President Obama issued a directive to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding patient visitation, advance directives, and other initiatives to improve the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families. The HHS response to this directive has implications for hospital social workers. The purpose of this secondary data analysis was to explore indicators of social work readiness to support implementation of the resulting initiatives. A historical context for the changes is provided, inclusive of the cases that spurred the presidential memorandum. The findings are presented within the framework of the profession’s standards for social work practice in health care and end-of-life care. Recommendations for enhancing social work readiness for a critical role in implementation of the new regulations are presented.