ACP image 6-2016What if there was a technology-based solution that would enable healthcare providers to electronically submit and access patients’ Advance Care Plans (ACPs) from anywhere, ensuring immediate access to this critical information? How would it impact the patients? This year the Advance Care Planning Coalition is working hard to develop such a solution – an eRegistry.

Let’s take a step back. In 2014, The Health Collaborative developed the Advance Care Planning Coalition as a response to one of the key findings of the IOM report “Dying in America” – that people near the end of life often experience multiple transitions between healthcare settings, fragmenting the delivery of care and creating undue burdens on them and their families.

The coalition, comprised of a variety of hospitals and select post-acute care providers, worked diligently in their first year to create and address the following goals:

  • Increase the number of eligible patients with a documented ACP on their record 
  • Successfully transfer ACPs to the next setting of care when patients are transferred
  • Incorporate ACP content into a clinical order set

The coalition provided a forum for collaborative work on this important quality improvement effort, and through the process, helped identify barriers to success in advancing efforts such as documentation, tracking, and measuring outcomes. However, while documentation of patients’ ACPs began taking place within individual care settings, the information was being captured in a silo, without a secure, accessible way to share it with other providers across the care continuum.

Fast-forward to today. To help overcome these barriers and facilitate advancement in community ACP efforts, the Advance Care Planning Coalition is working in 2016 to develop a technology-based solution – an eRegistry, which would enable healthcare providers to electronically submit and access patients’ Advance Care Planning forms from anywhere, ensuring immediate access to this critical information.

2016 will serve as a design and awareness-building phase for the eRegistry, sustaining efforts from last year and driving momentum towards a 2017 launch. The Health Collaborative will host bi-monthly meetings beginning in May, with representation including ACP Phase I members working as subject matter experts, a group piloting ACP work with the Conversations of a Lifetime initiative, and additional post-acute care providers who are being invited to join. We’ll focus on best practices, updates on ACP locally and nationally, and preparation for the 2017 eRegistry.