Brenda Nevidjon, RN, MSN, FAAN, Chief Executive Officer
Brenda Nevidjon, RN, MSN, FAAN, Chief Executive Officer

As 2016 came to a close, I participated in a two-day meeting in Washington, DC. ONS is one of more than 40 sponsors of the National Academy of Medicine’s Roundtable on Quality Care for People With Serious Illness. As the title indicates, the roundtable has more than a cancer focus. It involves nursing colleagues from the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses, Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association, and National Institute of Nursing Research, in addition to representatives from care delivery organizations, payers, advocacy groups, and other nonprofits. Given the uncertainty of what will transpire with healthcare policy under the new administration, this roundtable was even more important for elevating the discussion on issues and solutions in caring for people with serious illness.

The roundtable is focused on five priority areas.

  • Delivery of person-centered, family-oriented care, including mechanisms to reduce multiple transitions between care settings, recognition and support for family caregivers, and access to palliative care
  • Communication and advance care planning, including clinician-initiated conversations
  • Professional education and development
  • Policies and payment systems
  • Public education and engagement, including promoting informed understanding of advanced care and end-of-life care among diverse groups

During the next three years, roundtable participants will hold expert meetings, public workshops, and community engagement activities and will disseminate various publications. In the two roundtable meetings and the first public workshop thus far, having nurses not only at the table as members but also in the audience of the public workshop have been essential. Nurses are the backbone of the care delivery system in institutions and communities. In acute care facilities, nurses often lead care coordination that is reducing emergency room visits and 30-day readmissions in high- risk populations. Community-based palliative care programs also are often led by nurse practitioners.

Nurses are the backbone of the care delivery system in institutions and communities.

What I have discovered is that nurses do not publish nearly as much about models of care as our other healthcare colleagues, so identifying nurse presenters for workshops becomes a challenge.
I welcome hearing from any of you who have experience with these models of care, particularly if you have outcome measures from your programs. The roundtable’s nursing representatives are committed to promoting nurse presenters to join colleagues from the health professions in advancing the dialogue about caring for people with serious illness.

Learn more about the roundtable at www.national CareforSeriousIllnessRoundtable.aspx. Here, you can sign up for notices about future free workshops available in-person or as a webinar. This roundtable is just one way ONS is working for you and for quality patient care in collaboration with a diverse group of organizations.