Hospitals Teach Being “Conversation-ready” for End-of-life Care

Posted on 04/16/2013

American Medical News: Physicians and hospitals are broadening their efforts to help patients and families talk earlier about their preferences for end-of-life care. One of the newer initiatives is the Conversation Project, launched by a coalition of doctors, health care executives and others.

Earlier efforts such as Aging With Dignity’s Five Wishes program have as their goal the creation of legally enforceable advance directives and designation of health care proxies. The Conversation Project focuses on providing patient- and family-focused educational materials to help in broaching these difficult discussions.

The project’s website has received more than 100,000 visitors and more than 30,000 downloads of its “conversation starter kit.” The packet prompts patients with questions such as “What matters to me is …” and asks them to rate how much they would like to defer to their physicians’ judgment or “have a say in every decision.”

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