Introducing a Supportive Care Team for Advance Directive Education in a Neurological and Neurosurgical Patient Population

Congratulations to Charlotte Henke MSc, Emily Mroz MS, PhDc, Ngoc Anh Le MPHc, Hannah M Gregory DOc, Ashley Ghiaseddin MD, Nikolaus R McFarland MD, PhD, and Jacqueline Baron-Lee PhD, on the publication of “Introducing a Supportive Care Team for Advance Directive Education in a Neurological and Neurosurgical Patient Population,” in the Journal of Patient Experience June issue.

Patient-centered care includes delineation of patient treatment values (ie, advance care planning [ACP]). Advance care planning often includes advance directive (AD) completion and is underutilized, particularly among neurology and neurosurgery patients. Implementation of a supportive care team (SCT) in outpatient clinic settings may offer opportunities for AD education and completion.

This study assesses the effectiveness of an integrative SCT composed of hospice volunteers and undergraduate quality improvement interns in their efforts to provide ACP education in neurological and neurosurgical outpatient clinics. Assessment includes a description of different types of SCT-patient encounters, as well as patient interest in and completion of ADs after interacting with the SCT.

Across the data collection period, 2770 encounters were initiated. The majority of encounters resulted in patient ACP education. Some patients completed ADs during their SCT encounter (3.45%) or after their SCT encounter (10.18%).

The SCT effectively enhances ACP education in this patient population. The utilization of trained interns to assist with ACP is beneficial and practical in clinic workflow.

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