Improving care at the end of life is a prime opportunity for cancer programs to drive quality, decrease costs, and enhance the patient and family experience.
Aggressive end-of-life care that provides no clinical benefit, including chemotherapy and hospitalizations in the last two weeks of life, contributes significantly to overall costs of care. In addition, it often negatively impacts patients' and their families' quality of life and care experience.
While improving end-of-life care has been a longstanding priority in the oncology community, it remains challenging due to cultural and clinical barriers. To help cancer program leaders overcome these challenges, this report outlines four tactics:
- Empower patients to start the conversation
- Give the care team the right tools
- Integrate palliative care early
- Build better hospice relationships