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19 Evidence-Based Benefits of Advance Care Planning

19 Evidence-Based Benefits of Advance Care Planning

Published October 15, 2020

Reading Time: 3 minutes Advance care planning (ACP) is an ongoing conversation that involves shared decision making to clarify and document – through an advance directive – an individual’s wishes, preferences, and goals regarding future medical care. This comprehensive process is critically important to ensuring patients receive the medical care they want in the event they lose the capacity […]


Understanding Palliative Care and Hospice Care

Understanding Palliative Care and Hospice Care

Published September 9, 2020

Reading Time: 4 minutes Discussing goals of care with patients facing serious illness is essential to ensuring that the care they receive is compassionate and aligns with their goals and wishes. Unfortunately, these conversations don’t happen enough.  A Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that almost 90 percent of U.S. adults felt that talking with their doctors about their preferred […]


How to Integrate Patient Decision Aids into Clinical Practice

How to Integrate Patient Decision Aids into Clinical Practice

Published August 18, 2020

Reading Time: 3 minutes Achieving patient-centered care requires shared decision making to take place between the healthcare provider and patient. One of the best, evidenced-based interventions for achieving meaningful conversations that engage patients to make informed decisions is the practice of using patient decision aids (PDAs). In fact, there are more than 100 published studies that support the use […]


Research Update: Hospice Advanced Cancer Video Study

Research Update: Hospice Advanced Cancer Video Study

Published August 17, 2020

Reading Time: 2 minutes Although the benefits of hospice include high-quality end-of-life care for patients, lower caregiver depression and complicated bereavement, and less aggressive and costly care at the end of life, patients and their caregivers have substantial misperceptions regarding hospice, which contributes to its underuse. Only approximately 40-50% of patients in the United States die while under hospice care, […]


Health Literacy: A Valuable Tool in the Fight Against COVID-19

Health Literacy: A Valuable Tool in the Fight Against COVID-19

Published August 3, 2020

Reading Time: 3 minutes Health literacy – the capacity to access, process and understand basic health information – is fundamental to making good health decisions. Numerous studies over the last several decades have shown that only an estimated 12% of U.S. adults have what is considered proficient health literacy skills. The widespread lack of health literacy is a significant […]


4 Tips for Effective Advance Care Planning Through Telemedicine

4 Tips for Effective Advance Care Planning Through Telemedicine

Published July 8, 2020

Reading Time: 4 minutes As healthcare providers and patients contend with the spread of COVID-19, telemedicine is proving to be a key means for supporting safe access to care. The CDC points out several benefits of offering telehealth services during the public health crisis: Mitigates the spread of COVID-19 through increased social distancing Reduces the strain on healthcare systems […]


Advance Care Planning for Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease

Advance Care Planning for Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease

Published June 22, 2020

Reading Time: 5 minutes Dementia is a term used to describe neurodegenerative brain disorders with symptoms that include a decline in memory, reasoning, and a gradual loss of the cognitive abilities needed to carry out daily living activities. These abnormal brain changes also affect behavior, emotions, and relationships. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for 60-80 […]


Tips and Resources to Help Frontline Healthcare Workers Manage their Mental Well-Being During a Pandemic

Tips and Resources to Help Frontline Healthcare Workers Manage their Mental Well-Being During a Pandemic

Published June 5, 2020

Reading Time: 4 minutes The COVID-19 pandemic is an unsettling and anxiety-inducing time for everyone. Frontline healthcare workers are especially vulnerable to negative mental health effects as they continue to care for sick patients while dealing with worries about contracting the virus themselves and bringing it home to their families. Many are struggling with fears related to a lack […]


Why Palliative Care Teams are Vital During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Why Palliative Care Teams are Vital During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Published May 27, 2020

Reading Time: 3 minutes The COVID-19 crisis has shed new light on the critical role of palliative care teams. As hospital-based doctors and nurses deal with new and unanticipated ways of delivering medical care, palliative care clinicians are able to share their unique expertise to support patients, caregivers and providers. In a recent editorial, The Lancet pointed out that […]


A Planning Checklist: Do Your Homework Before Implementation

A Planning Checklist: Do Your Homework Before Implementation

Published April 22, 2020

Reading Time: 4 minutes Quality improvement (QI) initiatives are key to improving clinical outcomes, enhancing patient experience and reducing costs within healthcare organizations. However, an estimated 70% of large-scale change programs fail. Unfortunately, performance improvement efforts that are poorly executed result in very little – if any – sustainable change, while using up time, money and resources. There is […]


Helping Families Manage an Altered End-of-Life Experience During the COVID-19 Crisis

Helping Families Manage an Altered End-of-Life Experience During the COVID-19 Crisis

Published April 21, 2020

Reading Time: 4 minutes As the coronavirus sweeps through the country, healthcare facilities are changing visitation policies in an attempt to control the spread of the infection. Visitors are now prohibited in most hospitals in the U.S. On March 13, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) implemented national restrictions that prevent family members from visiting loved ones […]


Guide to COVID-19 Information and Resources

Guide to COVID-19 Information and Resources

Published April 4, 2020

Reading Time: 5 minutes As healthcare professionals and communities respond to the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, it is crucial to have access to reliable and timely information. We have compiled a list of trusted COVID-19 resources that provide clinical guidance, helpful tools and news updates, as well as information geared to patients and communities. Clinicians and Healthcare […]


A Call to Action: Advance Care Planning Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

A Call to Action: Advance Care Planning Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

Published March 26, 2020

Reading Time: 3 minutes The COVID-19 pandemic is bringing considerable uncertainty and fear to people across the globe. As U.S. health systems try to prepare for potentially millions of hospitalizations associated with the novel coronavirus, healthcare professionals are already managing an influx of affected patients. This unpredictable health crisis should be a call to action to initiate advance care […]


Clinical Social Workers: Champions of Advance Care Planning

Clinical Social Workers: Champions of Advance Care Planning

Published February 21, 2020

Reading Time: 3 minutes As members of the interdisciplinary healthcare team, social workers help manage the difficult issues that can arise at the end of life. They are experts at supporting patients, families and caregivers as they cope with emotional distress and navigate the healthcare system. They also play a critical role in ensuring patients’ wishes are honored at […]


Year of the Nurse: Recognizing the Critical Role of Nurses in Advance Care Planning

Year of the Nurse: Recognizing the Critical Role of Nurses in Advance Care Planning

Published January 30, 2020

Reading Time: 3 minutes “The greatest heroes are those who do their duty in the daily grind of domestic affairs whilst the world whirls as a maddening dreidel.” – Florence Nightingale Nurses impact patient care and make a difference in people’s lives every single day. As front-line caregivers, nurses advocate for their patients and use evidence-based practices to promote […]


Implementation Series:  35+ Considerations for Facilitating an ACP Initiative in an Ambulatory Setting

Implementation Series: 35+ Considerations for Facilitating an ACP Initiative in an Ambulatory Setting

Published January 8, 2020

Reading Time: 5 minutes This four-part implementation series explores expected challenges healthcare organizations may encounter when adopting an improvement initiative. Each article provides tips for effective implementation based on our experience working with organizations to successfully execute an advance care planning initiative. The first installment took a closer look at the challenge of training clinicians to develop the skills […]


Implementation Series:  35+ Considerations for Executing an ACP Initiative in an Inpatient Setting

Implementation Series: 35+ Considerations for Executing an ACP Initiative in an Inpatient Setting

Published December 19, 2019

Reading Time: 5 minutes This four-part implementation series explores expected challenges healthcare organizations may encounter when adopting an improvement initiative. Each article provides tips for effective implementation based on our experience working with organizations to successfully execute an advance care planning initiative. The first installment took a closer look at the challenge of training clinicians to develop the skills […]


Implementation Series:  Identifying Opportunities for Better Clinical Workflows

Implementation Series: Identifying Opportunities for Better Clinical Workflows

Published December 4, 2019

Reading Time: 4 minutes This four-part implementation series explores expected challenges healthcare organizations may encounter when adopting an improvement initiative. Each article provides tips for effective implementation based on our experience working with organizations to successfully execute an advance care planning initiative. The first installment took a closer look at the challenge of training clinicians to develop the skills […]


Implementation Series:  How to Improve Clinician Engagement through Training

Implementation Series: How to Improve Clinician Engagement through Training

Published November 6, 2019

Reading Time: 4 minutes This four-part implementation series explores expected challenges healthcare organizations may encounter when adopting an improvement initiative. Each article provides tips for effective implementation based on our experience working with organizations to successfully execute an advance care planning initiative. The first installment takes a closer look at the challenge of training clinicians to develop the skills […]


How to Communicate More Clearly with Your Patients & Members

How to Communicate More Clearly with Your Patients & Members

Published October 18, 2019

Reading Time: 4 minutes How often do patients really comprehend what they are being told when their doctor explains a medical condition or procedure? Not often enough. A recent study found that only 5% of cancer patients had an accurate understanding of their prognoses. Unfortunately, if a patient is not clear about their treatment options or does not understand […]


Four Simple Strategies for Improving Your Patients’ Health Literacy

Four Simple Strategies for Improving Your Patients’ Health Literacy

Published September 30, 2019

Reading Time: 4 minutes   The U.S. has a health literacy problem. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, nearly nine out of ten adults lack the necessary skills to manage their health and prevent disease. Low health literacy has been linked to higher rates of chronic illnesses and preventable hospitalizations, poor self-care and less frequent […]


5 Tools to Maximize the Effectiveness of Your PDSA Cycles

5 Tools to Maximize the Effectiveness of Your PDSA Cycles

Published September 30, 2019

Reading Time: 3 minutes Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) is a quality improvement method that healthcare teams use to quickly and efficiently test new interventions. This concept involves structured, iterative tests of change. The simplicity of this experimental learning method means that it can be applied to many different situations. While PDSA is easy to follow, it is not meant to be […]


How the Latest Technologies Facilitate the Advance Care Planning Process

Published September 12, 2019

Reading Time: 3 minutes Health technologies have the power to transform the delivery of care. Advance care planning (ACP) is an important element within healthcare that helps ensure people receive the care they want at end of life. As many health systems work toward formalizing processes for ACP, technology can provide valuable tools for overcoming obstacles that create gaps in […]


5 Steps to Implementing a Shared Decision-Making Initiative

5 Steps to Implementing a Shared Decision-Making Initiative

Published August 30, 2019

Reading Time: 4 minutes The adoption of shared decision making (SDM) into routine practice is all too often elusive.  Even though SDM is the foundation for patient-centered care, its implementation can be a challenge as a result of numerous barriers.  Understanding SDM SDM happens when patients and their providers work together to determine the best path of medical treatment for each […]


10 Ways Video Decision Aids Support the Care of Seriously Ill Populations

Published August 6, 2019

Reading Time: 3 minutes Patients with advanced illness must make important care decisions throughout their health care journeys. As they approach end of life, these decisions become even more significant as patients consider treatment options, palliative care, life-support measures, and hospice care.  Too often, an end-of-life care conversation is the elephant in the clinician’s exam room. Even though patients […]


Bringing a Patient-Centered Approach to Kidney Disease Care to the Forefront:  Three Reasons Why it Matters

Bringing a Patient-Centered Approach to Kidney Disease Care to the Forefront: Three Reasons Why it Matters

Published July 19, 2019

Reading Time: 4 minutes Kidney disease care in America is long overdue for an overhaul. More than 37 million Americans suffer from chronic kidney disease (CKD). Of those, more than 726,000 have end-stage renal disease (ESRD), or kidney failure, and need dialysis treatment or an organ transplant to survive. Kidney disease ranks as the ninth leading cause of death in the […]


Getting the Conversation Started: Tips for Clinicians

Getting the Conversation Started: Tips for Clinicians

Published July 6, 2019

Reading Time: 4 minutes Over 2.8 million people die in the U.S. every year, and unfortunately, most do not get a say as to how and where their death transpires. With an aging population and medical advances that are extending lives, serious illness conversations are an essential component of quality healthcare delivery.   For many clinicians, broaching the topic of serious […]


Getting the Conversation Started: Tips for Family Members, Friends and Caregivers

Getting the Conversation Started: Tips for Family Members, Friends and Caregivers

Published June 17, 2019

Reading Time: 4 minutes Conversations about death and serious illness are not easy to have. Even though about 90% of people believe that talking about end-of-life decisions is important, only 27% report actually doing so. It’s true: it can be uncomfortable and awkward to bring these topics up with someone you care about.  However, finding a way to discuss what kind […]


6 Questions to Ask When Evaluating the Quality of a Patient Decision Aid

6 Questions to Ask When Evaluating the Quality of a Patient Decision Aid

Published June 11, 2019

Reading Time: 4 minutes As our healthcare system transitions from a one-sided medical decision-making approach to one that involves both patients and clinicians in shared decision-making, the need for tools to enhance this new model has grown. These patient decision aids can come in the form of educational pamphlets, interactive applications, healthcare directive templates, and videos.  On the upside, […]


A Conversation with ACP Decisions Co-Founder & CEO

A Conversation with ACP Decisions Co-Founder & CEO

Published May 13, 2019

Reading Time: 5 minutes As a pioneering organization established to empower patients and their families to engage in shared decision making with their healthcare providers, ACP Decisions is a leader in the creation and dissemination of video-based decision aids in the advance care planning space.  In the following Q&A, ACP Decisions Co-Founder & CEO Aretha Delight Davis, MD, JD shares her personal […]


Why Advance Care Planning is a Crucial Part of Population Health Strategy

Why Advance Care Planning is a Crucial Part of Population Health Strategy

Published April 23, 2019

Reading Time: 3 minutes Fueled by pressure to improve both clinical and financial outcomes, population health management has become a burgeoning field in healthcare.  Achieving the goal of improving the quality and effectiveness of healthcare while controlling costs for defined groups of patients is an immense challenge.   Populations take many forms and can be defined by region, employee pool, disease […]


Advance Care Planning Guide Part 2:  List of Resources

Advance Care Planning Guide Part 2: List of Resources

Published April 16, 2019

Reading Time: 7 minutes   As you may (or may not) know, there are many online resources available to assist with advance care planning. We’ve put together a list of several links to resources related to advance care planning and related topics for health care professionals, as well as for patients and their caregivers. You can access our glossary […]


Advance Care Planning Guide Part 1:  Glossary of Terms

Advance Care Planning Guide Part 1: Glossary of Terms

Published March 26, 2019

Reading Time: 6 minutes Advance Care Planning 101 begins right here with a list of terms commonly associated with advance care planning (ACP). Stay tuned for Part 2, which will provide a comprehensive list of resources for advance care planning.  Advance Care Planning An ongoing communication process that involves clarifying and documenting an individual’s wishes, values, preferences and goals […]


Championing Advance Care Planning

Championing Advance Care Planning

Published March 18, 2019

Reading Time: 3 minutes Advance care planning doesn’t just happen.  It’s not a conversation most people want to have. They find it uncomfortable and awkward.  Yet, the advance care planning (ACP) process is critically important to ensuring people receive the care they want during a time they cannot speak for themselves. ACP promises a better quality of life when […]


12 Reasons Why Video is a Crucial Element of Shared Decision Making

12 Reasons Why Video is a Crucial Element of Shared Decision Making

Published February 28, 2019

Reading Time: 4 minutes Over the last decade, there has been a healthcare revolution. Driven by access to information via the internet and the adoption of digital devices, patients have transformed into consumers of healthcare, demanding more empowerment and autonomy. These changes have created an environment in which shared decision making (SDM) between patients and providers is a basic […]


How Nurses Facilitate the Advance Care Planning Process

How Nurses Facilitate the Advance Care Planning Process

Published November 27, 2018

Reading Time: 4 minutes Registered nurses are often at the forefront and the frontline when it comes to patient care. So naturally, they are in a unique position to champion and facilitate advance care planning (ACP). Part of the 2017 Palliative Nursing Summit, hosted by the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA), involved developing targeted initiatives to improve care […]


How Shared Decision Making Enhances Patient Safety for Serious Illness Care

How Shared Decision Making Enhances Patient Safety for Serious Illness Care

Published September 17, 2018

Reading Time: 4 minutes Studies estimate that anywhere from 250,000 to 440,000 people in the U.S. die every year due to preventable medical errors.  While very little research on patient safety has been done specifically for patients in palliative care, they are more vulnerable to errors and related adverse events. The end-of-life is a vulnerable time.  Multiple healthcare transitions, […]


The Kaiser Foundation Annual Report on Medicare and What it Means for Advance Care Planning

The Kaiser Foundation Annual Report on Medicare and What it Means for Advance Care Planning

Published August 9, 2018

Reading Time: 3 minutes Driven by the baby boomer generation, there has been a 36% increase in the number of Medicare beneficiaries over the last decade.  In 2007, there were 44 million enrolled for Medicare Services; today, there are almost 60 million.  This only represents a portion of baby boomers — an estimated 10,000 people turn 65 every day. […]


How Patient Decision Aids Help Overcome Common Barriers to  Shared Decision Making

How Patient Decision Aids Help Overcome Common Barriers to Shared Decision Making

Published June 18, 2018

Reading Time: 4 minutes Shared decision making (SDM) in healthcare requires active participation by both patients and providers as they share information and jointly make decisions based on the individual needs of patients. This sounds simpler than it often is in practice. It is not uncommon for the adoption of SDM in clinical settings to be slow due to […]


4 Best Practices for Effective Shared Decision Making

4 Best Practices for Effective Shared Decision Making

Published May 26, 2018

Reading Time: 3 minutes Most of us live in a world full of choices – ranging from the most mundane to complex, life-changing decisions.  Undoubtedly, healthcare decisions are among the most significant we may make at some point.  Often, when the time comes to make important medical decisions, many people are overwhelmed and unable to fully comprehend all their […]


Five Ways To Jump Start Your Advance Care Planning Initiative

Five Ways To Jump Start Your Advance Care Planning Initiative

Published May 15, 2018

Reading Time: 4 minutes Whether your healthcare organization has an advance care planning initiative in place or is still in the discussion phase, you may find the process has stalled and needs a jump-start. National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) is a perfect time to focus on and reinvigorate an advance care planning program. National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) National […]


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