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New Project Aims To Redesign ACP Conversations for Patients With Serious Illness and Chronic Disease

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 21, 2022

PRESS CONTACT: Ana Hornburg (517)908-8229 or [email protected]

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Health Endowment Fund recently awarded Michigan Health Council (MHC) a $363,294 grant intended to address the growing need for robust Advance Care Planning (ACP) conversations for patients with serious illness & chronic disease by trained individuals. The project, titled “Redesigning the Delivery of Advance Care Planning Conversations”, seeks to innovate the way conversations are had regarding a patient's wishes for future medical care in the case that they lose the capacity to make decisions.


“We are excited to partner in this opportunity to expand person-centered decision making, specifically the opportunity to provide this phase of planning with our patients and families managing serious illness,” said Linda Caurdy-Bess, Advance Care Planning Manager at Beaumont Health. “We are also very interested in the opportunity to trial a virtual platform to allow us to expand services and support our ACP workforce.”


MHC will work with Choreographed Health Solutions, LLC (CHS), Michigan Public Health Institute (MPHI), and Nancy Combs Communications, LLC, to develop and assess an online assessment tool aimed at increasing the number of individuals facilitators can reach while reducing the one-to-one time requirement for overwhelmed health care personnel.


“Advance Care Planning conversations for those will serious illness typically take a minimum of 2 hours or more to complete between a patient and facilitator,” said Melanie Brim, President and CEO of MHC. “By providing information about what matters most to the patient, their chosen advocate(s), and trained facilitator in advance of asking about future healthcare treatment decisions, we are not only reducing the time it takes for facilitators to have the conversation, but we are also empowering patients to better grasp the subject and providing a path for individuals to make their wishes known.”

The online tool will be used by patients to better understand the topic and provide feedback on their wishes as the trajectory of their illness changes. Patient responses to this tool will then be used by facilitators and their advocate(s) to help understand what is important to each patient prior to their visit.


“TANDEM365 is proud to partner with the Health Fund and other leading healthcare organizations to improve systems and access to ACP conversations in our communities,” said Tara Wilcox, Director of Clinical Services at TANDEM365. “Advance Care Planning is incredibly important to the patients we serve. Being a part of this project will allow us to continue to participate in improvements to Advance Care Planning practice as well as enhance the expertise of TANDEM365 staff.”


Beaumont Health and Tandem365 will pilot the new assessment tool. CHS will assist each pilot participant in redesigning internal ACP processes, providing training to facilitators and instructors, and ensuring clear, person-specific advance directives can be placed in each patient’s electronic medical record.


“We look forward to empowering our healthcare workforce and the patients they care for to be at the forefront of an improved method to discovering what matters most to the patient before engaging in a conversation about treatment options they wish to have,” said Rose Seavolt, Faculty Consultant at Respecting Choices®. “We are confident this redesign of ACP conversations will lighten the load for the healthcare workforce and improve access to patients needing to engage in ACP.”


This project is currently underway and the new tool is expected to roll out at participating pilot sites in the Fall of 2022. For more information, please visit acpmich.org/redesign.


Michigan Health Council (MHC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization on a mission to create products and provide services their partners rely on to build healthcare workforce capacity. Learn more at mhc.org.


The Michigan Health Endowment Fund works to improve the health and wellness of

Michigan residents and reduce the cost of healthcare, with a special focus on children and seniors. More information about the Health Fund can be found at mhealthfund.com.



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