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[Online ahead of print]

Assessing End-of-Life Care Across Settings in an Integrated Health Care Delivery System


Assessing End-of-Life Care Across Settings in an Integrated Health Care Delivery System

Margaret C Wang et al. J Palliat Med.


Objective: To systematically capture patient- and family-centered data to understand variability and opportunities in end-of-life care delivery across settings in an integrated health care delivery system. Background: Improving the quality of end-of-life care requires assessing patient and family experiences across settings where care occurs, but we found no existing instrument suitable for this purpose. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey with 10,308 surviving respondents (usually next of kin) of decedents in five Kaiser Permanente operating regions. The survey included eight items from an existing validated survey and three original items. Results: The overall response rate was 26% (2631). Most respondents reported that they were knowledgeable about decedents' end-of-life care and preferences. Across regions, 80% of respondents reported overall end-of-life care as excellent or very good. The proportion of excellent and very good responses was 74-84% across regions for items assessing attributes of end-of-life care, with statistically significant differences (p < 0.05). The proportion of positive responses was 69-89%. Overall, end-of-life care was rated as excellent or very good for a greater proportion of patients who received palliative care, hospice care, or both (78-82%), compared to those who did not (69%, p < 0.05 for all). Discussion: Regions are using data to inform end-of-life care initiatives. Assessing patient and family experiences of end-of-life care across settings with a single survey was feasible and provided valuable information supporting quality improvement. The survey met our need for a general purpose survey on end-of-life care experience.

Keywords: end-of-life care; patient-centered care; quality of care; survey research.

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