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About This IHI Virtual Expedition

Did you know that 90 percent of people surveyed* think it is important to talk about their wishes for end-of-life care, but less than 30 percent do?

Many institutions do not have systems to reliably engage with patients in order to:

  • Understand what is most important for their end-of-life care
  • Become stewards of this information
  • Record, access, and respect these wishes in a timely way

Becoming Conversation Ready is an effort is to provide more patient-centered care in order for patients to gain an understanding of what matters most to them when it comes to end-of-life care planning.

Structured around the aims of The Conversation Project — an initiative to ensure that every person’s wishes for end-of-life care are expressed and respected — this virtual training teaches the five principles of being Conversation Ready.

What You'll Learn

At the end of this IHI Virtual Expedition, participants will be able to:

  • Describe strategies used by Conversation Ready organizations that already engage patients and families in discussions in order to understand “what matters most” to patients at the end-of-life
  • Explain ideas and tactics for reliably stewarding this information across the health care system, including strategies for working with electronic health records
  • Test methods to help staff engage in this work personally, before exemplifying it for their patients
  • Explain key details of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reimbursement for provider conversations with patients about end-of-life care wishes

This IHI Virtual Expedition is approved for a maximum of 6.5 continuing education credits for physicians, nurses and pharmacists.

*The Conversation Project Survey - Newsworthy Analysis, August 2013


Session 1: The Conversation Project: Reaching People Where They Live, Work, and Pray
Date: Wednesday, November 1, 2017, 11:00AM–12:30PM ET

Session 2: Engage: Moving from Passive to Proactive
Date: Wednesday, November 15, 2017, 11:00AM–12:00PM ET

Session 3: Steward: Steward End-of-Life Care Information as Reliably as You Would Allergy Information
Date: Wednesday, November 29, 2017, 11:00AM–12:00PM ET

Session 4: Respect: Meeting People Where They Are as Illness Advances
Date: Wednesday, December 20, 2017, 11:00AM–12:00PM ET

Session 5: The Exemplify Principle in Action & Connecting in a Culturally Respectful Manner
Date: Wednesday, January 3, 2018, 11:00AM–12:00PM ET

Session 6: CMS Reimbursement
Date: Wednesday, January 17, 2018, 11:00AM–12:00PM ET


kelly-mccutcheon-adams.jpgKelly McCutcheon Adams, MSW, LICSW, a Director at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement since 2004, focuses on critical care and end-of-life care. She is a medical social worker with experience in hospice, nursing home, sub-acute rehabilitation, emergency department, and ICU settings. Ms. McCutcheon Adams has also served as faculty for the Organ Donation Collaborative of the US Department of Health and Human Services and for the Gift of Life Institute. She now directs the Breakthrough Series (BTS) College at IHI to teach participants how to run BTS collaboratives.

lauge-sokol-hessner.jpgLauge Sokol-Hessner, MD, is a hospitalist and the Associate Director of Inpatient Quality at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). His work includes collaborating as a member of interdisciplinary teams; coaching medical students and residents on communication skills; and caring for a wide variety of patients and their families. In his QI role, he leads several projects, including Conversation Ready. Dr. Sokol-Hessner has worked in southern Africa, completed medical school and residency at the University of Pennsylvania, and worked as an attending physician at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle.

kate-lally.jpgKate Lally, MD, FACP Chief of Palliative Care, Care New England Health System, also serves as Medical Director at Integra Accountable Care Organization and Hospice Medical Director of Care New England VNA Hospice. At Care New England, she developed a system-wide comprehensive, interdisciplinary palliative care program that has expanded from the hospital into the community. Dr. Lally spearheaded Care New England's role as a Pioneer Sponsor in the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's Conversation Ready initiative and helped integrate Conversation Ready principles into the health system's palliative care program. She has served on the faculty of the IHI since 2013, and as a result has developed and led a number of on-line and in-person educational initiatives for both national and international audiences. As a result of her work, she has received numerous awards including “Top Doc” in RI monthly, Providence Business News “40 under 40” and was named an “Inspiring Hospice and Palliative Medicine Leader Under 40” by the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. She is a graduate of Yale School of Medicine and did her post-graduate training in Internal Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. She currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Medicine (Clinical) at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.