Purpose: Patients with metastatic cancer benefit from advance care planning (ACP) conversations. We aimed to improve ACP using a computer model to select high-risk patients, with shorter predicted survival, for conversations with providers and lay care coaches. Outcomes included ACP documentation frequency and end-of-life quality measures.
Methods: In this study of a quality improvement initiative, providers in four medical oncology clinics received Serious Illness Care Program training. Two clinics (thoracic/genitourinary) participated in an intervention, and two (cutaneous/sarcoma) served as controls. ACP conversations were documented in a centralized form in the electronic medical record. In the intervention, providers and care coaches received weekly e-mails highlighting upcoming clinic patients with < 2 year computer-predicted survival and no prior prognosis documentation. Care coaches contacted these patients for an ACP conversation (excluding prognosis). Providers were asked to discuss and document prognosis.
Results: In the four clinics, 4,968 clinic visits by 1,251 patients met inclusion criteria (metastatic cancer with no prognosis previously documented). In their first visit, 28% of patients were high-risk (< 2 year predicted survival). Preintervention, 3% of both intervention and control clinic patients had ACP documentation during a visit. By intervention end (February 2021), 35% of intervention clinic patients had ACP documentation compared with 3% of control clinic patients. Providers' prognosis documentation rate also increased in intervention clinics after the intervention (2%-27% in intervention clinics, P < .0001; 0%-1% in control clinics). End-of-life care intensity was similar in intervention versus control clinics, but patients with ≥ 1 provider ACP edit met fewer high-intensity care measures (P = .04).
Conclusion: Combining a computer prognosis model with care coaches increased ACP documentation.