Documentation of a Family Meeting

by Mark Hughes, MD, MA

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    00:01 It's important after a family meeting is concluded that you document in the medical record about what occurred.

    00:07 So, the things that you should include in a note about this are, who participated in the meeting? What was discussed during the meeting? Were there any decisions that were made? And what needs follow up? So, if a particular decision was made and there's a treatment plan in place, what's going to be the follow up for that? The reason that you need to document is also because this is a way to communicate with those that were not present in the meeting. So, they can look back either in the moment or in the future to see what was discussed. It may also be important to do this verbally, so, reach out to team members who did not attend the meeting and talk to them about what the plan is going to be.

    00:52 Everyone gets on the same page as a result.

    00:55 You also should document, you know, what needs to be done in subsequent discussions.

    01:00 So, if it is for instance like a trial of therapy, what's going to be the period of time to see if the therapy is working and what are going to be the outcomes to look for to reevaluate whether it's working or not working? There might be a need to say, "Well, if the patient's condition changes, we're going to need to have an additional family meeting." So, always having that idea that you're planting the seed for future discussions with the patient or family.

    01:29 Maybe during the family meeting, it would suggest, "Get input of other consultants." Maybe there's a particular expertise that could be brought into the case and you want to hear from those consultants, so, what's going to be the plan for them to review the case? Perhaps meet with the patient of the family, participate in future meetings, you want to have that clear.

    01:51 And as I said, you know, during the family meeting, it's also important to acknowledge that the patient's comfort should be a main goal, so, ways to address pain and symptom management and to know whether those treatments to improve their quality of life are working or not working and what might need to be adjusted in the future.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Documentation of a Family Meeting by Mark Hughes, MD, MA is from the course Surrogate Decision Making and Family Meetings.

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    1. Participants
    2. Talking points
    3. Topics for follow-up
    4. Surgical history
    5. Smoking history

    Author of lecture Documentation of a Family Meeting

     Mark Hughes, MD, MA

    Mark Hughes, MD, MA

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