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Planning for patients with advanced illness

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A blog in HealthAffairs looks at redesigning the American health system to better address the needs of patients with advanced illnesses. To do this, the authors recommend  six steps, and they give examples of places with successful models.

The authors write: “To ensure that the voices of patients with advanced illness will guide treatment decisions, patients’ values and preferences must be documented. Knowing and honoring patients’ preferences requires redesign of the health system using clear and specific design principles.”

The aim is a system that is:

  • “Person- and Family-Centered: Care is focused on treating the person with an illness rather than a disease.
  • ”More Coordinated: When systems are established to document and communicate this person-centered conversation, the healthcare system becomes more organized.
  • ”Individualized: Management of disease and palliative services are not an either/or choice; rather, under individualized plans, patients receive care in the “dose” that fits their medical condition and informed preferences.”




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