Thursday, November 17, 2016

Thoughts about Dying in America.

Pizzo offers a summary of a recent Institute of Medicine report, with the title "Thoughts about Dying in America: Enhancing the impact of one’s life journey and legacy by also planning for the end of life."
This Perspective offers a summary of the recommendations in the Institute of Medicine report Dying in America. How we die is a deeply personal issue that each of us will face. However, the approach to end-of-life (EOL) care in the United States needs improvement. Too frequently, healthcare delivery is uncoordinated and has many providers who are not adequately prepared to have meaningful conversations about EOL planning. This is amplified by payment systems and policies that create impediments, misunderstanding, and sometimes misinformation. Dying in America made five recommendations to improve quality and honor individual preferences near the EOL beginning with making conversations with providers and families something that occurs during various phases of the life cycle and not just when one is facing serious illness or possible EOL. It was recommended (i) that public and private payers and care delivery organizations cover the provision of comprehensive care that is accessible and available to individuals on a 24/7 schedule; (ii) that professional societies and other entities establish standards for clinician patient communication and advance care planning and that payers and care delivery organizations adopt them; (iii) that educational institutions, credentialing bodies, accrediting boards, state regulatory agencies, and care delivery organizations establish palliative care training, certification, and/or licensure requirements; (iv) that public and private payers and care delivery organizations integrate the financing of health and social services; and (v) that public and private organizations should engage their constituents and provide fact-based information to encourage advance care planning and informed choice.

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