Monday, May 11, 2009

Responsibility Charts for Palliative Medicine Practices

Palliative medicine programs, and by extension the practices associated with them, are characterized by conflicting demands for their resources. Role confusion often is the result.

The symptoms of role confusion we often find within palliative medicine services are:
-Concern over who makes decisions
-Out of balance workloads
-Lack of action because of ineffective communications
-Questions over who does what (clinical and administrative)
-Multiple “stops” needed to find an answer to a question or gain approval.

Responsibility charting is a management tool we've used effectively to reduce or avert role confusion. This tool can be used either in program development or in established programs. We've found it to be especially useful where an Advanced Palliative Care Organization (APCO) is being assembled through the collaboration of several health organizations and many stakeholders.

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