Goals of Care Conversations: Eliciting and Respecting Patient Preferences Regarding Life-Sustaining Treatments

Situation

Healthcare professionals (HCPs) receive little training on initiating and conducting end of life (EOL) conversations with seriously ill patients. Therefore, many HCPs are uncomfortable with the topic and may avoid discussing it all together. It is only when HCPs understand and integrate EOL values and goals into clinical practice that patients will receive the dignity that they deserve.

JumpStart in Action

On behalf of the Veterans Health Administration’s National Center for Ethics in Health Care, JumpStart conducted subject matter interviews regarding Goals of Care Conversations (GoCC) to:

  • Understand current practice
  • Determine best practices

Making a Difference

JumpStart produced a comprehensive report summarizing the qualitative research and provided recommendations for techniques to enhance the skills of VA providers when conducting GoCC. The report will be distributed to VA physicians, and will serve as the basis for future certified training.