Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School
Expanding the Reach of Palliative Care: Engaging Caregivers through Policies and Practice
I aim to promote patient-family-community centered care by combining novel methods from computer science with palliative care. Currently, there is no standard way to support caregivers at discharge and across care settings. The recently passed Caregiver, Advise, Record, and Enable (CARE) Act requires that hospitals inform caregivers about and prepare them for discharge, yet no data exists about its implementation nor impact on outcomes, including palliative care utilization. Using natural language processing, we will evaluate the CARE Act implementation and study patient and caregiver experiences across large populations. We have developed AI methods to identify family documentation in the electronic health record (EHR) and will implement these methods within a large regional healthcare system to understand the relationship between the presence of family documentation, palliative care uptake, and health outcomes such as rehospitalizations. We will also conduct interviews with stakeholders to identify ways to improve CARE Act policy implementation and extend palliative care into communities to better support individuals with serious illness and their caregivers after discharge.