How Effective End-Of-Life Care Impacts the Practice and the Patient

By: AffirmHealth

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Date: 02/20/2020

We believe preparing for end-of-life care is integral to patient-centered healthcare.

Prioritizing end-of-life care, or Advance Care Planning (ACP), has also proven to reap benefits for both physicians and practices. In fact, Advance Care Planning presents one of the greatest growth opportunities for health systems and medical groups in 2020, allowing them to improve patient satisfaction, increase revenue, and positively impact population health. 

Today, we want to reiterate the ways that better Advance Care Planning, through the use of our latest software, can benefit patients, their families, and practices alike. 

The Impact of End-of-Life Care on the Patient 

Whether it's delivered as palliative care, supportive care, or hospice, Advance Care Planning gives patients the opportunity to express their health care preferences and desired experience at the end of their life. When done effectively, a patient's decisions are recorded as an Advance Directive, which can involve physician(s), lawyers or legal representatives, and loved ones.

Even though the importance of Advance Care Planning is clear, physicians and patients often find the conversation around planning for end-of-life care difficult to navigate. When physicians and patients do discuss Advance Care Planning, often it's not properly documented, resulting in patients' wishes not being met in their final days.

The importance of discussing and documenting Advance Care Planning decisions is crucial to ensure the practice delivers and the patient receives the best care. The implications of this outcome alone are far-reaching. When effective end-of-life care is planned and delivered, it can result in:

  • Greater focus on customized care and improving a patient's quality of life rather than following generalized care protocols
  • Increased patient satisfaction
  • Decreased number of unwanted treatments for patients 

Benefits of End-of-Life Care Planning for Practices 

In addition to the benefits patients experience when Advance Care Planning is made a priority, healthcare practices also benefit from providing effective end-of-life care planning and investing in proper documentation and processes around Advance Care Planning, including:

  • Streamlined communication across care settings with fewer errors in care delivery
  • A more sustainable number of patient hospitalizations, admissions to the ICU, and administering of feeding tubes, mechanical ventilation, etc.
  • Better stewardship of hospital resources and personnel 

The benefits of Advance Care Planning for patients and physicians is clear, not healthcare providers must be equipped with the right resources to aid in their conversation about and follow-through with end-of-life care. 

Our ACP software helps to guide a physician through an end-of-life discussion, easing the discomfort between physician and patient. Furthermore, the practice's Administrators benefit as the tool logs the conversation as a billable service in their EMR.

It also automates the billing process for Advance Care Planning, resulting in fewer un-billed treatments.

Properly documenting end-of-life plans in a dashboard that integrates with your overall system will also help you or other clinicians carry out the predetermined care in the future. 

The role of a physician is demanding enough. Practices with a growth mindset will turn to tools like this that make care simultaneously easier and more personalized. 

Effective end-of-life care planning decreases the number of misused or unwanted hospital resources too. When a patient's end-of-life preferences are accurately respected and carried out, practices feel more confident in the overall care delivered and billed for because it was patient-driven. They deliver only the care a patient expressed they wanted, directing unnecessary resources back into the practice. 

Another benefit of our software tool is its automation of quality reporting. This feature provides great feedback for physicians and measurements for the practice as a whole. This dashboard easily collects and displays those metrics already required by law to bolster the reputation of the practice as well as its funding.

AffirmHealth's Advance Care Planning Tool 

In summary, effective end-of-life care planning provides benefits to every participant in healthcare. It's not only important for the stewardship of a practice but it's also a matter of human dignity.

At AffirmHealth, we are proud to support better Advance Care Planning. We created our software with the physician and patient experience at the forefront. Our software is a solution for practices in need of streamlining their advance care planning process. It's also an asset for practices looking to grow. Our ACP Tool is designed to simplify the process by standardizing care settings, driving revenue, and enhancing the patient experience. 

If you're looking for a way to improve your end-of-life care capabilities, see if our tool is a good fit for your practice. Request a Demo now.  


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