The National Quality Forum Issue Brief, Strategies for Change – A Collaborative Journey to Transform Advanced Illness Care, which was issued late last year after work involving a large Action Team, brings together six different areas of need and discusses the relationships between these six areas of need and their components. It is a major advance in expanding understanding that those facing serious illness have to deal with far more than the pain/consciousness choice and the quality/quantity choice, they also have to engage with all kind of other pressures, many of which have in the past hardly been dealt with by the health care system. This is not just about end of life, but about all those facing serious health centered challenges. I discussed the Brief in some detail here. (Disclosure: I provided some input and help NQF with presentations about the ideas, doing so from a patient partnering point of view.)
The areas are well shown in this chart:
Just looking at the list will convince you that any solution that fails to address all of these areas can not be said to be person-centered, because it is at best centered on only apart of the person, rather than all of them.Moreover, failure to address any of the six will obviously undercut all of the six, not just the one explicitly not covered.
The next step in making the vision behind the Brief a reality is a March 15 webinar. This webinar (sign-up information below) will delve into case studies which demonstrate how physicians, nursing homes, home health agencies and others can integrate the preferences in this chart into existing quality efforts.
For some, hearing about these examples may be much more practical and realistic a way of thinking about moving forward than the more analytic approach in the paper. Others may find the combination of examples and analysis the most empowering of all. Indeed, the Brief itself does include some brief “snapshots,” examples of innovation in practice.
As the Issue Brief concludes:
Building on the movement towards person- centered advanced illness care, the time is now to bridge medical care, social services, and community assistance to form a stronger support network for individuals with advanced illness and their families and caregivers.
The webinar it a great place to start plugging in to this network. You can register for the Webinar here. Not to be missed.