Serious Illness Conversation

Activity description

Conversations that provide patients who have serious and life-threatening illnesses with the opportunity to make informed choices reflecting their goals, values and care preferences are a critical part of their care. These discussions can help ensure that seriously ill patients receive care that is consistent with their wishes and provide guidance to enhance family well-being and improve the patient’s quality of life. This series has been developed to help guide and facilitate these important conversations and includes tools drawn from evidence-based practices in palliative care to assist health care professionals (HCPs) in identifying appropriate patients with whom to initiate a conversation. The importance of documentation and follow up, as well as how to incorporate these discussions into the daily workflow, will also be reviewed.

Provided by
This activity is provided by Optum Health Education and Optum.

Commercial support
No commercial support was received for this activity.

Required hardware/software
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Target Audience

This activity is designed to meet the educational needs of nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians, PAs and other HCPs who have an interest in learning how to communicate effectively with individuals with serious and life-threatening illnesses.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this educational activity, participants should be able to:

  • State the importance of a timely and systematic approach to having optimal conversations with individuals who are seriously ill about their values and priorities.
  • Recognize the impact of effective serious illness conversations on improved quality of life, enhanced goal-concordant care, positive family outcomes and reduced costs.
  • Identify the steps and best practices for having serious illness conversations and learning patient care goals.
  • State ways in which to measure the impact and success of serious illness conversations.
  • State the importance of routinely addressing patients' nonmedical goals and providing patients with sufficient information on their prognosis to allow them to make decisions that are consistent with their goals.
Activity summary
Available credit: 
  • 2.00 AMA - Physicians
  • 2.00 ANCC - Nurses
  • 2.00 Attendance - General Attendance
Activity opens: 
Activity expires: 

Sarah Chart, RN
Vice President
Optum Health Education

Rebecca Gleason, RN, CCM
Activity Manager
Optum Health Education

Kevin S. Henning, MD, FAAFP, FAAHPM
Medical Director
Optum Care
Tania M. Miedico, MD
Medical Director
Clinical Performance, Optum Care

Meg Silberschein
Associate Director of Clinical Education
Clinical Performance, Optum Care

Denise Stahl, RN, MSN, FPCN
Vice President, Palliative and Supportive Care
Clinical Performance, Optum Care

Disclosures of relevant financial relationships
In accordance with the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education's (ACCME) Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education, Optum Health Education (OHE) requires all those in control of educational content to disclose their financial relationships with ineligible companies within the prior 24 months. Ineligible companies are defined by the ACCME as companies whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing health care products used by or on patients. Individuals must disclose all financial relationships, regardless of the amount, with ineligible companies and regardless of their view of the relevance of the relationship to the education. OHE ensures that the content is independent of commercial bias.

The activity faculty/planners have no financial relationships to disclose.

Method for calculating CE credit
CE credit was calculated by the complexity of content.

Accreditation statement
Joint Accreditation LogoIn support of improving patient care, this activity has been planned and implemented by OptumHealth Education and Optum. Optum Health Education is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

Credit designation statements
The participant will be awarded up to 2.00 contact hour(s) of credit for attendance and completion of supplemental materials.

Nurse practitioners
The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP) accepts credit from organizations accredited by the ACCME and ANCC.

Optum Health Education designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 2.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) accepts credit from organizations accredited by the ACCME.

A certificate of attendance will be provided to learners upon completion of activity requirements, enabling participants to register with licensing boards or associations that have not been preapproved for credits. To apply for credit types not listed above, participants should use the procedure established by the specific organization from which they wish to obtain credit.

Available Credit

  • 2.00 AMA - Physicians
  • 2.00 ANCC - Nurses
  • 2.00 Attendance - General Attendance
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