Ariadne Labs Launches Toolkit to Support Health Systems, Clinicians Talking with Patients Impacted by COVID-19

The free COVID-19 Response Toolkit helps navigate conversations with patients to help prevent infection and prepare for potentially difficult decisions about COVID-19 treatment.

BOSTON – April 16, 2020 – Ariadne Labs’ Serious Illness Care Program recently developed a COVID-19 Response Toolkit to support health systems and clinicians in addressing the communication needs of patients in the community and in the hospital. Currently available in three languages, the toolkit also includes resources for patients to begin having these conversations with people they trust within their support networks. Since being released to health care systems earlier this month, the toolkit is currently being used by clinicians in multiple countries around the globe. 

Conversations between patients and clinicians about what matters most lead to higher quality care and improved quality of life for patients and those who care for them. These conversations challenge clinicians even under the best of circumstances. The COVID-19 pandemic makes communication both more difficult and more important than ever, particularly for people who are at highest risk of becoming very sick. 

“Health systems and clinicians have a critical role to play in helping patients understand the potential impact of COVID-19 on their health and well-being,” said Joanna Paladino, MD, a palliative care physician and faculty with Ariadne Labs’ Serious Illness Care Program. “Now, more than ever, clinicians need simple tools to help navigate these conversations during this unprecedented public health crisis to ensure that patients’ priorities remain at the forefront of their care.”

The free toolkit is anchored by a series of conversation guides: 

  • For clinicians in outpatient settings with patients who may or may not have COVID-19 but are likely to be at high risk for complications if they become sick;
  • For clinicians in inpatient settings with patients who are hospitalized with suspected or confirmed COVID-19; 
  • For patients to use with their family or friends to help them identify a trusted decision maker and discuss their goals and treatment preferences (developed in collaboration with The Conversation Project).

“If a patient develops serious complications from COVID-19, it benefits everyone — the patient, their care team, and their loved ones — to understand how their priorities can guide treatment,” said Justin Sanders, MD, MSc, faculty with the Serious Illness Care Program. “This toolkit helps patients begin to talk about what matters most to them, while also supporting clinicians to efficiently elicit information that can guide clinical decision making in a very uncertain time.” 

All materials are available at

About Ariadne Labs

Ariadne Labs is a joint health systems innovation center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. We develop simple, scalable solutions that dramatically improve the delivery of health care at critical moments to save lives and reduce suffering. Our vision is for health systems to deliver the best possible care for every patient, everywhere, every time. Founded in 2012, Ariadne Labs is home to the Serious Illness Care Program. 

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Media Contact: Brigid Tsai,