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New IOM study shows access to quality end-of-life care may contribute to a more sustainable health system

By Judy Thomas, JD | @JudyThomasJD
Executive Director, Coalition for Compassionate Care of California

Dying in AmericaA newly released report from the Institutes of Medicine (IOM) shows a substantial body of evidence that broad improvements to end-of-life care are within reach.

Dying in America—Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life lays out a demographic imperative that we find a way to better meet the needs of seriously-ill and dying patients.

The report is a call to action—the time has come for more comprehensive and sophisticated approaches to improving care toward the end of life.

In Dying in America—a consensus report from the IOM—a committee of experts finds that improving the quality and availability of medical and social services for patients and their families could not only enhance quality of life through the end of life, but may also contribute to a more sustainable care system.

Key recommendations from the report include:

  • The need for clinician-patient communication and advance care planning
  • The establishment of specialty practice in hospice and palliative medicine in the education of health professionals
  • A need for public education and engagement about end-of-life care issues

The report notes that one key challenge to achieving this vision for better care is the structure of our current healthcare system. Similar to the Berkeley Forum Report, the IOM is calling for payment systems that encourage and reward more integrated and holistic care.

The Coalition for Compassionate Care of California is actively working on, and making progress in, nearly all of the areas identified in the recommendations. The IOM report validates that CCCC’s work is at the cutting edge of alignment with the changes that need to happen in our healthcare system and society to be prepared for the future.

We highly encourage Coalition members to view the IOM report and share the key findings and recommendations with their colleagues.

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