Incorporating Life Care Planning into Specialty Care Populations


Matthew Handley, MD; Melissa Stern, MBA

Though most people say they are willing to discuss end of life and agree that documenting their wishes is important, only a very small number actually do. When the process is done well, it has the power to produce a written plan that accurately represents the individual’s preferences and thoroughly prepares others to make health care decisions consistent with these preferences. Life Care Planning is a National Quality Initiative driven by the six aims to deliver care that is patient-centered, effective, efficient, equitable, timely, and safe. It is currently being implemented in five Regions with a sixth to begin before year-end. This presentation describes an evidenced-based approach for ensuring that patients facing a life-threatening illness align the care given to their personal values and wishes and demonstrates how to integrate the methodology into “normal routine” care within the Nephrology and Cardiology specialties, which serve as examples of how it may be applied to any specialty. Making these decisions is difficult and the implications for not making them can have significant impact on patients, their families, and practitioners. This evidenced-based approach ensures patients are supported and guided in an unbiased and nonjudgmental way.


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