Serious Illness Communications

Course Request

Learning Objectives

  • Understand what serious illness communication is and where it fits within the advance care planning continuum
  • Learn some principles of good communication and suggested language that goes with them
  • Feel motivated to continue to learn and integrate serious illness conversations into the care you provide.

Course Description

This course uses a well-tested and widely adopted tool, the Serious Illness Conversation Guide, which helps clinicians to have more, better, and earlier conversations with their seriously ill patients with just a little practice. By providing a script that includes patient-tested language and incorporates communication best practices, instead of worrying about what to say next, clinicians will be able to turn their attention to hearing and responding to their patient. The Guide has been tested extensively with clinicians from many medical and surgical specialties. Without the Guide, conversations often center on medical options and life-sustaining treatment and tend to be longer and less focused. Using the open-ended questions in the Guide, clinicians spend less time talking, more time listening, and they are much more likely to discuss the patient’s prognosis, information preferences, values, and goals.

We know having these conversations is hard. Yet making these conversations a routine part of care for every seriously ill patient is essential to improve patient-centered, value-based care. Get the tools, training, and team support to deliver superior serious illness care for your most vulnerable patients.

Did you know…

  • Less than one third of patients with a serious illness discuss their goals and preferences with their clinician.
  • Almost half of clinicians report being unsure what to say.

Course at a Glance

Target Audience: Clinicians, Social Workers, Clergy

Time to Complete: 20-30 Minutes

Contributor: Ariadne Labs

Co-developer

Ariadne Labs

Author Information

Course development guided by the expertise of:
Dr. Erik Fromme, MD, MCR, FAAHPM – Senior Scientist, Faculty Lead – Ariadne Labs