Communication in Serious Illness

Communication in Serious Illness:
An Innovative Approach to Clinical Care and Quality Improvement
June 22 – 24, 2016
Hynes Convention Center
Boston, MA


Please note that the 2016 course has already occurred. You can read about how the course helped clinicians learn how to talk to patients about what matters most and about how to be change agents for better care at their home settings here.
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
Course Directors
Rachelle Bernacki, MD, MS
Susan D. Block, MD

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