End-of-life directives added into EHR

April 22, 2014 in Medical Technology

UMass Memorial Health Care is partnering with Minneapolis-based Lumin?t, which develops care planning tools, to create a platform that will integrate patients’ end-of-life directives into their electronic health records.

[See also: NQF supports 12 new end-of-life quality measures]

UMass Memorial is Central Massachusetts’ largest not-for-profit healthcare delivery system. According to officials, its partnership with Lumin?t will enable physicians to consistently document the end-of-life wishes from patients such as the identity of loved ones who should be involved in the decision-making process, palliative care preferences and specific spiritual beliefs. The data is fed into patients’ EHRs via the cloud.

Giving providers a better understanding of patients’ wishes will help reduce the cost of care at end of life while improving quality and satisfaction of patients and their families, officials say

“Unwanted end-of-life healthcare services can have a significant emotional and financial impact on patients and their families,” said Tom Valdivia, MD, chief executive officer of Lumin?t, in a press statement. “It’s estimated that $40 to $70 billion in unwanted healthcare services will be delivered at patients’ end of life in the next decade. Advance care plans should not be viewed as a ‘nice to have.’ Not having an advance care plan should be considered a medical error.

“Up to this point, patients completed the advance care directive on paper and submitted it to their physician to be filed away,” he added. “As a result, the instructions weren’t accessible by all providers and were left open to interpretation from doctor to doctor.”

“Unless communicated in advance, many medical treatments provided at the end of life are inconsistent with patients’ wishes,” says David Fairchild, MD, senior vice president of clinical integration at UMass Memorial, in a statement. “As UMass Memorial transitions to being an accountable care organization, we recognized the opportunity to use Lumin?t technology to enable and support conversations about end of life.”

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Article source: http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/end-life-directives-added-ehr

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