Providers need the opportunity to talk to one another about patients for whom they share care. For many Breakthrough Series teams, the project was the first time that professionals from different hospital units - such as oncology and hospice or primary care - worked together to improve a system, in part just by communicating with one another.
Kaiser Permanente, San Diego
San Diego's Kaiser Permanente team developed a collaborative planning process between hospice and oncology units, primarily to reduce patient pain and the need for urgent admissions. The process encouraged a consistent approach to pain management for hospice and oncology units and offered patients a full continuum of care as they moved from oncology to hospice care. (For details, see chapter 3 on pain and symptom management.)
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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 ].