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Health Services Research & Development

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HSR&D Citation Abstract

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Haynes CA, Dashiell-Earp CN, Wenger NS, Simon WM, Skootsky SA, Clarke R, Watts FA, Walling AM. Improving Communication About Resuscitation Preference for Patients Discharged from Hospital to Nursing Home: A Quality Improvement Project. Journal of palliative medicine. 2019 May 1; 22(5):557-560.
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Abstract: Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) can help ensure continuity of do-not-resuscitate (DNR) decisions and other care preferences after discharge from the hospital. We aimed to improve POLST completion rates for patients with DNR orders who were being discharged to a nursing home (NH) after an acute hospitalization at our institution. We implemented an interprofessional quality improvement intervention involving education, communication skills, and nursing and case manager cues regarding POLST use. The intervention was later augmented with performance feedback and financial incentives for resident physicians who completed a POLST at NH transfer. Whether patients with DNR orders at hospital discharge have a POLST at NH transfer. The intervention resulted in increased POLST use for patients with DNR orders discharged to NH: baseline 25/65 (38%), intervention 36/71 (51%), and augmented intervention 44/63 (70%) (? < 0.01). An interdisciplinary intervention can increase POLST use for patients with DNR orders transitioning to NH. Multiple components, including financial incentives and performance feedback, may be needed to effect statistically significant change.

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