NINR director Dr. Patricia Grady recently participated in a panel discussion at the 2013 National Summit on Advanced Illness Care: A Roadmap for Transformation.
Held at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., the summit was hosted by the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC). C-TAC defines “advanced illness” as that which occurs when one or more conditions become serious enough that general health and functioning decline and treatments begin to lose their impact. The process of advanced illness continues to the end of life—an area of science that NINR has supported as the lead NIH institute for end-of-life research.
The summit brought together more than 400 leaders including clinicians, a bipartisan team of senators, clergy, professional education experts and private sector employers. They spent 2 days addressing “one of America’s greatest challenges,” breaking through barriers so that seriously ill people receive proper care at the appropriate time and place.
One message throughout the summit was that all people involved in the care of a person with an advanced illness—individuals, family members, health care providers, educators, insurers and others—can be part of the solution to transform advanced care. This theme was encompassed in the panel discussion Grady participated in, Working Together: Innovations in Interprofessional Training. The panel featured leaders in nursing, science, medical education and chaplaincy, sharing what they have learned about supporting change and fostering an interprofessional approach to compassionate and coordinated advanced illness care. Grady provided insights into the role of research in building the evidence-base of clinical practice.
“Research serves as the underpinning for identifying ‘best’ scientific evidence to ensure quality decisions are made in the care of those facing advanced illness,” she said. “Nursing and nursing science can help create change in interprofessional approaches to advanced illness care by addressing individual and family-centered care, including new interventions and models of transitional care and developing innovative health technologies and informatics for use in advanced care.”
Asked for examples of effective federal level initiatives that have worked to build systems of interprofessional education and training, Grady noted that a core component of the training NINR supports “is to cultivate interdisciplinary research using team-based approaches that concentrate on the complex nature of contemporary health care issues, such as those found in advanced illness.”