Although depression is a widespread problem, quality improvement endeavors to address it are less commonplace. Teams endeavoring to improve end-of-life care are in a good position to consider depression as a target area for improving care. One strategy might be to try out different screening instruments with dying patients. Another is to flag charts of dying patients and track whether they have been assessed for depression. Health care professionals can learn from mental health professionals about ways to raise the issue of depression with patients and families.
15.4.1 Track Rates of Antidepressant Prescriptions
15.4.2 Educate Providers on Suicide Risk Factors
15.4.3 Evaluate Suicidal End-of-Life Patients
15.4.4 Comfort Delirious Patients and Their Families
15.4.5 Refer Patients and Families to Educational Resources
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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 ].