OPTIMISTIC study: Advance care planning in nursing homes challenging but critical

From Indiana University:

IMAGE: The aim of OPTIMISTIC — an acronym for Optimizing Patient Transfers, Impacting Medical quality and Improving Symptoms: Transforming Institutional Care — is to improve care and communication within nursing facilities… view more

Credit: Indiana University Center for Aging Research

INDIANAPOLIS — The goal of advance care planning is to ensure that the health care an individual receives is consistent with his or her values and preferences. New research shows the critical need for advance care planning and highlights the challenges that healthcare institutions — especially nursing homes — face in supporting high quality advance care planning.

The analysis of advance care planning in nursing homes was conducted as part of the OPTIMISTIC project, an initiative developed and implemented at a growing number of nursing homes by a team of clinician-researchers from Indiana University Schools of Nursing and Medicine and the Regenstrief Institute.

The aim of OPTIMISTIC — an acronym for Optimizing Patient Transfers, Impacting Medical quality and Improving Symptoms: Transforming Institutional Care — is to improve care and communication within nursing facilities and between these facilities and acute-care institutions. The goal is to catch and solve problems early, improving quality of care and reducing unnecessary hospital transfers.

“An Interim Analysis of an Advance Care Planning Intervention in the Nursing Home Setting” is available online ahead of print publication in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The goal of the study was to describe the implementation of advance care planning in nursing homes. The study emphasizes the importance of resident preferences when trying to reduce avoidable hospitalizations of nursing home residents.

The researchers reported on the formal advance care planning conversations facilitated by specially trained nurses with residents and family members in the 19 nursing homes participating in the initial …

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