Health Information Management

News: JAMA study shows documentation of end-of-life care needs improvement

CDI Strategies, July 22, 2010

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Assessment of clinical measures associated with end-of-life treatment could actually improve care of the dying, according to a release regarding a study published recently in the Archive of Internal Medicine.

Study leaders abstracted the records of nearly 500 individuals who had been hospitalized at least three days prior their deaths.

“For 70% of the quality indicators studied, patients received recommended care. However, follow-up for distressing symptoms was performed less well than initial assessments, and only 29% of patients who had ventilation tubes removed before death were evaluated for dyspnea,” the release states.

The authors suggested more appropriate communications between healthcare providers, the patients, and their family prior to the initiation of intensive end-of-life treatments may offer less invasive options for treating the dying.

As an opportunity for CDI staff however, the release states that "even after 48 hours in the intensive care unit or on the ventilator, more than half of patients had no medical record documentation about goals of care or an attempt to pursue the topic," the authors write.



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