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Communication in Serious Illness: An Innovative Approach to Clinical Care and Quality Improvement – Harvard Medical School

June 22, 2016 - June 24, 2016


This intensive two-and-a-half-day course fills a significant gap for clinicians who seek to learn, practice and train others in using and implementing a Serious Illness Care Program (SICP) at their local institution. Derived from evidence-based best practices, the SICP is a multi-component intervention that aims to support clinicians in generating a personalized serious illness care plan for patients in the last year of life.

Learning methods will include development and discussion of cognitive maps, demonstration, skills practice with feedback, and coaching in the use of the Serious Illness Conversation Guide, an extensively piloted, evidence-based structure for communication about serious illness care goals.

Unique Teaching Methods and Key Take-Home Tools

Teaching and learning methods will include:

  • Personalized support and feedback in developing an institution-specific plan for implementing a Serious Illness Care Program at participants’ home sites
  • Interactive discussion in large and small groups
  • Demonstration and practice using the Serious Illness Conversation Guide, with personalized feedback
  • Teaching demonstration and opportunities to practice teaching others about the use of the Conversation Guide
  • Coaching on engaging, training and supporting clinicians and administrators in implementing the Serious Illness Care Program

Attendees leave this course with:

  • Resources for patients to share with family members
  • Action plans
  • A guide to help you structure conversations about this difficult topic in a patient-centered and efficient way
  • Structure for optimal training of other clinicians in your organization on the best ways to elicit patient goals and values

Target Audience

This course is targeted towards those who work with patients and families with serious illness including Physicians, Pharmacists, Psychologists, Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, Nurses, Social Workers and Chaplains.


John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center
900 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02115 United States
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+1 617-954-2000

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