Patients navigating serious or life-threatening illness will face many personal and medical decisions. Currently, these conversations often done late in the course of illness or during a major crisis when patients and families are too stressed to make decisions. Additionally, these conversations are commonly focused on medical procedures and interventions rather than patient’s goals, values and wishes.
We believe that empathic and honest conversations focused on what matters most to a patient are the cornerstones of patient- and family- centered care. Research has shown that individuals who have conversations with their clinicians about what is most important to them are more likely to receive the care they want, have fewer non-beneficial medical treatments, spend fewer days in hospitals and intensive care units, and report an overall better quality of life.
Every seriously ill patient in Vermont will be surrounded by clinicians who can skillfully and compassionately engage in conversation about what matters most to them.