The Northwestern University Section of Palliative Medicine, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, and Telligen are pleased to introduce the Preference-Aligned Communication and Treatment (PACT) project. PACT is a recently formed statewide collaborative focused on ensuring that patients and families facing serious illness receive the right care, at the right time, and in the right place.

Years of research and testimonials from patients and their caregivers clearly document that patients and families facing serious illness struggle with unmet care needs. While much attention and resources focus on adequately treating pain and other symptoms at the end of life, our healthcare system still lacks a consistent approach to ensuring that the care provided matches patients’ goals and values, especially at the end of life. This mismatch in care is associated with tremendous costs – physical, psychosocial, and financial – for patients and caregivers.

The first step towards ensuring that patients receive “the right care, at the right time, and in the right place” is to standardize engagement in care preference conversations earlier in the illness trajectory. By better preparing clinicians with the skills and confidence to conduct meaningful care preference conversations, clinicians will be able to meet their patients’ needs and establish care plans that truly reflect patient’s desires.

Simply having goals of care conversations, though, is not enough. Care-delivery systems need a standardized approach of documenting patient’s wishes, a consistent method for translating preferences into realistic treatment plans, and a pathway to ensure that those plans can be carried out across different settings. By establishing a statewide collaborative with acute-care hospitals, post-acute care sites, and community organizations, we hope to change the culture of care delivery in Illinois.

The overall goals of PACT are to ensure that:

  1. Patients receive timely, effective, and sensitive care preference conversations.
  2. Care preference conversations are documented and communicated across health care sites.
  3. Patient preferences are translated into meaningful care plans across sites of care.

Benefits to PACT participants include (but are not limited to):

  • Improved clinician competence and confidence in having goals of care conversations
  • Improved coordination with post-acute care facilities
  • Increased likelihood that the care received at the end of life is consistent with patients’ preferences
  • Increased patient and family satisfaction

For additional information, please contact Liza Rivnay, PACT Project Manager.

Northwestern University Telligen Healthcare Intelligence BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois