When teams begin to use the PDSA model for change in one practice area, they often discover other areas ripe for improvement. Improvements in advance care planning, for example, can lead to the need for better spiritual support and increased continuity of care. Most teams learn to tackle many areas at the same time because it makes sense to do so.
There are other spin-offs of this work as well. Better pain management for patients in the last phase of life will undoubtedly lead to better pain management for all patients - from those with postoperative pain to those with chronic pain. Better family support will lead to better communication in the ICU for all families.
Teams with a method for making improvements will make it a way of life in all practice areas, especially if managers support and encourage improvement and innovation.
2.9.1 Case Study - Parkland Health and Hospital System
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This online version of the book Improving Care for the End of Life: A Sourcebook for Health Care Managers and Clinicians is provided with permission of Americans for Better Care of the Dying [ www.abcd-caring.org ] and Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
For further information on quality improvement in end-of-life care visit The Palliative Care Policy Center [ www.medicaring.org ].