Public Release: 

During late life, what's important changes

What matters most starts out differently for providers and patients

Allina Health

MINNEAPOLIS - (March 27, 2017) - Eric Anderson, MD, Allina Health LifeCourse principal investigator and co-researcher Sandra Schellinger, NP-C, performed an in-depth analysis of advanced heart failure patients' goals several years prior to death.

"The results highlight the tendency of both patients and health care providers to wait too long for discussions about serious illness," said Schellinger. "Knowing the social, emotional, and spiritual priorities of patients will equip clinicians to better discuss serious illness care in a way that addresses the most important priorities in their patients' lives."

Their study, "What is Important? Eliciting Deep Insights from Patients and Families: A Workshop for Opening Doors to Important Conversations," will be presented at the Minnesota Network of Hospice and Palliative Care 2017 Annual Conference April 2 to 4 in Minneapolis.

Allina Health researchers will present three studies at the conference based on the LifeCourse Research Study funded by the Robina Foundation and conducted at Allina Health.

Other studies and presenters are:

"Collaborating to Increase Access to LifeCourse, a Late Life Supportive Care Approach" by Vivian Anugwom, MS, and Paul Erickson, MD, provides lessons learned when LifeCourse expanded outside the mainstream healthcare system to address disparities among communities of color. Erickson is with NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center in North Minneapolis.

"LifeCourse: An Innovative Approach to Late Life Care" by Anderson, and Karl Fernstrom, MPH, compares LifeCourse and usual care patients on utilization, quality of life and experience.

LifeCourse, built on the tenets of palliative care, provides supportive care during the time between advanced illness diagnosis and end of life. At its core, is a lay healthcare worker who visits patients monthly in their homes, communicates across care settings and organizations, and works with primary and specialty care teams and social service partners.

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About Allina Health

Allina Health is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of illness and enhancing the greater health of individuals, families and communities throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. A not-for-profit health care system, Allina Health cares for patients from beginning to end-of-life through its 90+ clinics, 12 hospitals, 15 retail pharmacies, specialty care centers and specialty medical services, home care, home oxygen and medical equipment and emergency medical transportation services.

For more information, visit us at allinahealth.org

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