PROJECT MANAGEMENT PLAN – Reducing Disparities Through Advanced Care Planning
Vision StatementOur vision is to integrate advanced care planning into routine care so the treatment patients receive is always aligned with their goals and values.
Team ObjectivesThe overall goal of this project was to decrease healthcare disparity through the utilization of advanced care plans. By creating a mutual plan that took into consideration the patient’s beliefs, desires, and available resources, we hoped to improve the management of chronic health conditions in the primary care/ambulatory settings. The foundation for success, and first project phase, was to ensure that providers have the skills and tools to conduct advanced care planning visits with their patients, as well as an accessible place to store those plans for others on the care team.
Success FactorsThe most successful part of our work was making meaningful change in the residents’ preparedness to have advanced care planning discussions with their continuity patients. We were inspired by the significant increase in residents’ self-assessment scores postintervention. This was just step 1 in a multiphase project that will hopefully bring better management of chronic medical conditions to disadvantaged patients in our community.
BarriersThe largest barrier encountered was the scale of the project. We worked to overcome this challenge by continuing to map out the project plan, get input from anyone impacted by the project, and seek advice from those who had gone down this path before us. We continued to transform this project from 1 large project into a project with 3 smaller phases so that we could share measures of success in March 2017 and still continue to work toward our original vision.
Lessons LearnedThe single most important piece of advice to provide another team embarking on a similar initiative is to keep your first project to a very small scope. We all want to make significant change, but we need to complete a manageable initiative to gain valuable experience before we grow in future quality improvement endeavors. All improvement, no matter how minimal the scope of the project, is meaningful.