Goals-of-care conversations led by the oncologist are key to advancing the prognostic awareness of the patient and family, but too frequently do not occur or are ineffective in leading to advance care planning and appropriate planning for end-of-life care. At our institution, a phase 3 trial of palliative care added to usual care of phase 1 clinical trial patients gave us the opportunity to develop an electronic medical record-based goals-of-care template for discussions. We can complete all or parts of the form with patients, use it to ensure full coverage of important tasks such as planning for transition to hospice and legacy work, and make sure all the providers are "on the same page" about treatment plans. We have this within our EMR as a SmartPhrase that can be brought up for completion, and have found that it helps to clarify patient understanding. The form can also be used to document advance care planning for both clinical care and billing. Although this tool has not been formally tested, we have found that it is effective in day-to-day practice as well as in research, and we share it here.
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