The Indiana State Department of Health has awarded a three-year grant to the University of Southern Indiana.
The grant provides $332,360 of funding to support studying the integration of advance care planning into 15 nursing homes in Southwest Indiana.
“When we look at advance directives, we’re not talking about how to die; we’re talking about how to live. It’s a quality of life issue," said Indiana State Department Health Assistant Commissioner Terry Whitson. Whitson also commented on the importance of having conversations in the healthcare system, including in advance care planning, to provide patients quality care.
The project will focus on inviting new long and short-stay residents and their healthcare agents or representatives to participate in an advance care planning conversation upon admission.After each conversation, the goal is to have the resident complete or update a plan that follows their wishes. The documents will then be integrated into the residents plan of care.
“What we want to be able to do is improve our processes, work very closely with our nursing homes to improve the lives of our residents and their families. And so we just think it’s going to take us to the next level of advance care planning," said project Principal Investigator Kevin Valadares. Valadares also serves as USI Chair of Health Administration and Associate Professor of Health Service and is a part of the New Harmony Conversations, a community group working to have advance care conversations with local residents.
The project launched a web page discussing the grant, the team, and what the project entails.