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New NQF Guidance on Patient-centered Advanced Illness Care

January 17, 2017

The National Quality Forum (NQF) released a new issue brief, Strategies for Change—A Collaborative Journey to Transform Advanced Illness Care.

The brief focuses on six patient-centered preferences in advanced illness care:

  • Purpose and connection—enabling the individual to identify and sustain a sense of purpose and connection with others that matter to them
  • Physical comfort—addressing pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, and other unique discomforts from the patient’s perspective
  • Emotional and psychological well-being—including depression, loneliness, and isolation—both the impact these factors can have on a patient and on their family caregivers
  • Family and caregiver support—including the physical, psychological, and social needs of caregivers, particularly as the needs of the patient with an advanced illness progress
  • Financial security—addressing the significant impact that an advanced illness can have on a household and identifying resources to help patients and their families address financial risk and planning
  • Peaceful death and dying—enabling patients with advanced illness to express their wishes about the kind of life they want to lead and how to best support the patient’s wishes

The issue brief indicates:

  • 50 percent of physicians express that they sometimes feel unsure of what to say during end-of-life conversations, according to a 2016 study
  • More than 90 percent of people in a survey by the Conversation Project believe conversations with their families are important but fewer than 30 percent have had those conversations

To help practitioners, facilities, patient advocates, and others, the issue brief includes case studies, often with links to useful tools and information. This information can be helpful for hospitals and health systems exploring how to become more patient-centric focused when delivering advanced illness care.  

The issue brief was developed through the work of the NQF’s advanced illness care action team. The team included national organizations and experts in advanced illness care. 

Through the Hospital Improvement Innovation Network (HIIN), engaging patients and their families is an important component of HAP’s work with Pennsylvania hospitals and health systems. 

In addition, the readmission project under the HIIN is collaborating with the Palliative Care Collaborative (in conjunction with the Health Care Improvement Foundation) to help support reducing preventable readmissions of individuals with an advanced illness.  

For more information on the HIIN, contact Lisa Lesko, HAP’s director, quality initiatives.

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