Implementation and evaluation of an automated patient death notification policy at a tertiary pediatric oncology referral center

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Abstract

Background: Not knowing about a child's death can result in poor quality of care coordination among staff and poor quality bereavement care for families. The purpose of this project was to create, implement, and evaluate an automated Patient Death Notification policy and procedure (PDNPP). Measures: Baseline and follow-up surveys of clinical staff. Intervention: Implementation of a PDNPP that created an automated, systematic process for staff notification of patient deaths. Outcomes: Ninety-six percent of the staff rated the PDNPP as a significant improvement; 91% reported being "very" or "somewhat" satisfied with the PDNPP, whereas only 44% of the staff were satisfied with the process at baseline. Conclusions/Lessons Learned: Implementation of an automated PDNPP was feasible and improved staff satisfaction about how they were informed of patient deaths. Staff also reported being notified about patient deaths more quickly, performing their jobs more efficiently, being able to avoid doing something that might upset the deceased patient's family, and being able to better provide support to bereaved families. © 2011 U.S. Cancer Pain Relief Committee. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Baker, J. N., Harper, J., Kane, J. R., Hicks, J., Ward, D., Hinds, P. S., & Spunt, S. L. (2011). Implementation and evaluation of an automated patient death notification policy at a tertiary pediatric oncology referral center. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 42(5), 652–656. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2011.07.002

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