Improving the visibility and communication of treatment escalation plans in Somerset NHS foundation trust

Int J Risk Saf Med. 2022;33(S1):S69-S72. doi: 10.3233/JRS-227027.


Background: Advance care treatment escalation plans (TEPs) are often lost between healthcare settings, leading to duplication of work and loss of patient autonomy.

Objective: This quality improvement project reviewed the usage of TEP forms and aimed to improve completeness of documentation and visibility between admissions.

Methods: Over four months we monitored TEP form documentation using a standardised data extraction form. This examined section completion, seniority of documenting clinician and transfer of forms to our hospital electronic patient record (EPRO). We added reminders to computer monitors on wards to improve EPRO upload.

Results: Initial data demonstrated that 95% of patients (n = 230) had a TEP, with 99% of TEPs recording resuscitation status. However, other sections were not well documented (patient capacity 57% completion and personal priorities 45% completion, respectively). Only 11.9% of TEPs documented consultant involvement. Furthermore, only 44% of TEPs with a do not attempt resuscitation (DNACPR) decision were uploaded. Following this, we added reminders to computer monitors explaining how to upload TEP decisions to EPRO, which increased EPRO uploads to 74%.

Conclusion: Communication of TEPs needs improving across healthcare settings. This project showed that the use of a physical reminder can greatly improve communication of treatment escalation decisions. Furthermore, this intervention has inspired future projects aiming at making communication more sustainable through the use of discharge summaries.

Keywords: CPR; Treatment escalation plans; advanced care planning; communication; resuscitation.

MeSH terms

  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation*
  • Communication
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Documentation
  • Humans
  • State Medicine