The March issue of the Journal of Palliative Medicine focuses on an important and emerging topic in caring for people with serious illness: ensuring the quality of programs designed to care for these patients in the community and in their homes. This is the first time the publication has covered the topic in such a robust and rich way. Eleven papers were published with focus areas that range from how to identify the population with serious illness; achieving care that aligns with patients’ goals and values; data needs for an accountability system, and structures and processes to support family caregivers.
The motivation for developing and publishing these papers came from 45 experts in serious illness care who were tasked with defining guiding principles for measurement, creating a starter measurement set, proposing a definition of the denominator, and identifying future research priorities. The series of articles written by the experts provided a basis for debate and guidance in formulating a path forward to develop an accountability system for community-based programs for the seriously ill. Their efforts align with our foundation’s work in addressing the needs of people with serious illness, also known as high-need patients. Specifically, we have identified two areas we believe we can have the greatest impact for this population in: 1) strengthening workforce training and support, and 2) building effective quality measurement and accountability programs for community-based services.
Learn more about the path forward through the open access papers published in the Journal of Palliative Medicine. We encourage sharing with others to bring greater awareness to this topic and generate more support and engagement in improving the outcomes and experiences of people with serious illness.