A Patient-Focused Approach to Care Through the End Of Life

Using patients’ wishes in Epic to guide care planning


At Providence St. Joseph Health, headquartered in Washington State and California, providers focus on patients’ holistic needs and wishes for care through the end of life, rather than just their medical needs.

This patient-focused approach starts with an online toolkit that walks patients through creating advance directives specific to their state guidelines and introduces them to resources in Epic’s MyChart to help patients learn about care through the end of life. At the patient’s next visit, providers discuss the patient’s wishes and ensure that they’re documented in Epic. If a clinician orders a treatment that contradicts the Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatments  form, decision support creates alerts in Epic to guide the patient’s plan of care.

Care through the end of life at Providence is driven by their Institute for Human Caring, which was awarded the American Hospital Association’s top recognition for palliative care providers in 2017. The Institute for Human Caring aims to make whole person care a routine and accepted part of the patient experience, says Dr. Ira Byock, the institute’s founder and chief medical officer. “In caring for the whole person and the entire life experience, we are normalizing the conversation.”

Read more from Providence at PR Newswire.