Implementation of the Serious Illness Care Program on Hospital Medical Wards Methodology for a Multisite Quality Improvement Initiative

Main Article Content

Japteg Singh
Jessica Simon
Irene Ma
Fiona Dunne
Alison Dugan
Krista Wooller
Peter Munene
Daniel Kobewka
Dev Jayaraman
Marilyn Swinton
Andrew Lagrotteria
Rachelle Bernacki
John You

Quality Improvement, communication, Serious Illness Care Program

Abstract

Background
Poor communication with hospitalized patients facing serious, life-limiting illnesses can result in care that is not consistent with patients’ values and goals. The Serious Illness Care Program (SICP) is a communication intervention originally designed for the outpatient oncology setting that could address this practice gap.


Methods
A multihospital quality improvement initiative adapted and implemented the SICP on the medical wards of four teaching hospitals in Calgary, Hamilton, Ottawa, and Montreal. The SICP consists of three main components: tools (including the Serious Illness Conversation Guide for clinicians), training for frontline clinicians to practice using the Guide, and system change to trigger and support serious illness conversations in practice. Implementation of the SICP at each site followed a phased approach: (1) Building a Foundation; (2) Planning; (3) Implementation; and (4) Sustainability. To assess the success of implementation and its impact, we developed an evaluation framework that includes process measures (e.g., number and proportion of eligible clinicians trained, number and proportion of eligible patients who received a serious illness conversation), patient-reported outcomes (including a validated, single-item “Feeling Heard and Understood” question), and clinician-reported outcomes.


Conclusion
Based on our adaptation and implementation efforts to date, we have found that the SICP is readily adaptable to an inpatient medical ward setting. Future manuscripts will report on the fidelity of implementation, impact on patient- and clinician-reported outcomes, and lessons learned about how to implement and sustain the program.


Résumé
Contexte
Une mauvaise communication avec les patients hospitalisés atteints d’une maladie grave qui limite leur espérance de vie peut se traduire par des soins qui ne correspondent pas à leurs valeurs et à leurs objectifs. Le Programme de soins dans le cas de maladies graves (PSMG) est une intervention de communication conçue à l’origine pour l’oncologie externe qui pourrait remédier à cette lacune dans la pratique.
Méthodologie
Une initiative multihospitalière visant l’amélioration de la qualité a adapté et mis en œuvre le PSMG dans les unités de soins de quatre hôpitaux universitaires situés à Calgary, à Hamilton, à Ottawa et à Montréal. Le PSMG comprend trois principaux éléments : des outils (dont le guide de conversation sur les maladies graves à l’intention des cliniciens), de la formation pour que les cliniciens de première ligne puissent s’exercer à l’aide du guide et un changement de système pour entamer et faciliter les conversations sur les maladies graves dans la pratique. À chaque endroit, la mise en œuvre du PSMG a suivi une approche progressive : 1) l’établissement d’une base; 2) la planification; 3) la mise en œuvre; 4) la durabilité. Pour évaluer le succès de la mise en œuvre et ses répercussions, nous avons créé un cadre d’évaluation qui comprend des mesures de processus (p. ex., le nombre et la proportion de cliniciens admissibles formés, le nombre et la proportion de patients admissibles qui ont eu une conversation sur les maladies graves), des résultats rapportés par les patients (dont une question validée à un seul élément « se sentir écouté et compris ») et des résultats rapportés par les cliniciens.
Conclusion
À la lumière de nos activités d’adaptation et de mise en œuvre réalisées jusqu’à maintenant, nous constatons que le PSMG est facilement adaptable à un contexte d’unité de soins pour les patients hospitalisés. Les prochains manuscrits porteront sur la fidélité de la mise en œuvre, les répercussions sur les résultats rapportés par les patients et les cliniciens et les leçons apprises sur la façon de mettre en œuvre et de maintenir le programme.

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