Advance care planning (ACP) conversations between physicians and older adults are associated with care that aligns patient goals with the treatment they receive. Yet only a small percentage of acute care providers in hospital settings are engaging in these discussions. The low rates underscore the need for quality-improvement interventions to increase physician participation in ACP.
In order to improve care for seriously ill, older adults in a hospital setting, researchers from The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, led by Amber Barnato, MD, MPH, have partnered with a national physician management group to better understand best practices in ACP. The project aims to: understand the decision-making process influencing the likelihood of hospital-based physicians having ACP discussions with the seriously ill; explore the association between acute care ACP and patient care outcomes; and test the effect of interventions designed to promote ACP discussions using a randomized trial.