New Person-Centered Care Initiative Guide Available for NEQCA Practices

December 11, 2018

“We Need to Talk: Patient Goals of Care”

Communication between the clinician and patient about values and goals is linked to improved quality of life, better coping, more goal-consistent care, earlier hospice care and fewer hospitalizations. Conversations like these can cut the rate of anxiety and depression in half, yet 70% of clinicians report that they don’t have a workflow in place to routinely ask patients about their goals of care. Additionally, only 20% of clinicians have formal training in serious illness communication and 46% report being ‘unsure’ of what to say to patients.

With similar challenges facing NEQCA affiliated physicians, NEQCA launched the Person-Centered Care Initiative “We Need to Talk: Patient Goals of Care” in collaboration with Tufts Medical Center and Ariadne Labs. The goal of the initiative is to ensure that every patient’s care is in accordance with his or her goals, values, and preferences at every stage of life and at every step in the health care continuum.

As part of this initiative, the team developed the Person-Centered Care Initiative Resource Guide to serve as a collection of tools and resources for clinicians to assess and respond to the needs of their patients. In addition to the guide, NEQCA is working with Local Care Organizations, their clinicians and Tufts Medical Center to provide training on how to identify patients for conversations, facilitate timely conversations to understand goals of care and coordinate the care aligned to patient-centered goals.

“At NEQCA we saw the opportunity to develop this initiative to better align the delivery of care with patient goals and expectations, so that high-quality, cost-effective care is delivered efficiently throughout the Network,” said Isha Emhoff, MD, MPH, FACS, NEQCA Medical Director. “By doing so, we achieve personalized medicine and reduce avoidable suffering for the patient, their families, and the care team by making medical decisions and using interventions that are customized based on individual goals and values.”

For more information about the initiative and how to access the resource guide, NEQCA affiliated physicians should contact their NEQCA Account Manager.