Increasing the Number of Outpatients Receiving Spiritual Assessment: A Pain and Palliative Care Service Quality Improvement Project
BACKGROUND: Spirituality is a patient need that requires special attention from the Pain and Palliative Care Service team. This qualityimprovement project aimed to provide spiritual assessment for all new outpatients with serious life-altering illnesses. MEASURES: Percentage of new outpatients receiving spiritual assessment (Faith, Importance/Influence, Community, Address/Action in care, psychosocial evaluation, chaplain consults) at baseline and postinterventions. INTERVENTION: Interventions included encouraging clinicians to incorporate adequate spiritual assessment into patient care and implementing chaplain covisits for all initial outpatient visits. OUTCOMES: The quality improvement interventions increased spiritual assessment (baseline vs. postinterventions): chaplain covisits (25.5% vs. 50%), Faith, Importance/Influence, Community, Address/Action in care completion (49% vs. 72%), and psychosocial evaluation (89% vs. 94%). CONCLUSIONS/LESSONS LEARNED: Improved spiritual assessment in an outpatient palliative care clinic setting can occur with a multidisciplinary approach. This project also identifies data collection and documentation processes that can be targeted for improvement.