On April 11th 2017, the Patient Care Services Ethics in Clinical Practice Committee hosted its Annual Advance Care Planning Information Booth in the Main MGH Corridor for patients, visitors and staff. The Ethics in Clinical Practice Committee (EICPC) is one of several Collaborative Governance Committees within Patient Care Services (PCS). The Collaborative Governance model empowers employees in direct care, formal leadership, educational, research, and quality improvement roles to positively impact quality patient care outcomes across the organization through a wide variety of activities and venues.

EICPC is a multidisciplinary committee that (1) supports and educates patients, families, the public, and MGH clinicians and other staff regarding ethical issues, (2) provides a forum for front-line clinicians throughout PCS to raise and discuss ethical questions and concerns, (3) develops and disseminates ethical resources available at MGH, and (4) provides opportunities for the professional development for EICPC “champions” (members) through their participation in Collaborative Governance. The work of this committee involves identifying strategies to integrate ethical judgment into professional practice and consultation at unit and organizational levels related to ethical issues in daily practice.

Promoting the advance care planning process across the MGH community has been at the core of EICPC’s work particularly over the past 15-20 years. Successful advance care planning often starts with a conversation.  The Advance Care Planning Information Booth gives patients, families, visitors, and staff the opportunity to have a conversation with caring and knowledgeable individuals.  A planning committee comprised of several EICPC champions supported by EICPC leadership coordinate and facilitate the booth each year. A sign-in sheet is circulated among EICPC membership to volunteer their time to assist in staffing the booth. EICPC leadership assure that there is a blend of experienced and novice EICPC champions that volunteer to support everyone involved and promote their involvement as a positive professional development experience.  Marketing strategies have focused on advertising this event through a variety of MGH publications, all user email broadcasts, and in collaboration with other EICPC colleagues at unit, departmental, and service levels.  

The planning committee also obtains proclamations from both the Governor of Massachusetts and Mayor of Boston each year that recognize the importance of National Healthcare Decisions Day and further emphasize Massachusetts’ commitment to advance care planning as an important and necessary aspect of patient care. Other EICPC champions are invited to join the planning committee in staffing the booth to provide on-site consultation regarding the completion of an advance directive, important considerations in identifying and selection a health care agent, and distributing a variety of resources that include copies of the Massachusetts Health Care Proxy and Medical Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (MOLST) forms, copies of the MGH patient education handout, Planning in Advance for Your Health Care, information on organ donation, and a list of advance care planning web-based resources.  Sample copies of the Massachusetts Health Care Proxy form in Spanish and Five Wishes forms for adults, children, and adolescents are also made available for patients, families, visitors, and staff.

In 2017, approximately 136 individuals received on-site consultation and education related to advance care planning, many of whom completed a Massachusetts Health Care Proxy form on site! Activity at our 2017 booth was quite robust and we are energized and excited about this year! The Annual Advance Care Planning Booth is scheduled for Wednesday, April 25th. In addition to some of the previously mentioned materials, we hope to incorporate a continuous showing of the NHDD video, Imagine, in our display. EICPC is grateful to have strong PCS leadership and institutional support to promote the advance care planning process in several ways but the Annual Advance Care Planning booth is a major focus and highlight among our yearly activities.


Submitted by: Cynthia Ann LaSala, MS, RN. Nursing Practice Specialist, General Medicine and Advisor, PCS Ethics in Clinical Practice Committee. 

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