Survival Improvement Tactics

We seek to understand and improve mortality both in and out of the hospital setting. To that end, we partner with clinical teams across Duke Health to utilize case reviews, data analytics, and project management in the following areas:

DUHS Mortality Review. We systematically review mortalities to identify opportunities to improve our systems of care. Resources:

Reviewing Deaths to Save Lives: A Standardized Approach to Mortality Review. May 2017
DUHS Mortality Review Poster, IHI National Forum. December 2017

Survival Improvement Initiatives. We have led ongoing initiatives to improve clinical outcomes, specifically to: reduce in-hospital delirium, prevent aspiration, identify and manage sepsis and clinical deterioration, and facilitate care transitions between settings. More recently, we have focused on improving end-of-life care delivery. Our initiatives include:

      • Enhancing inpatient advance care planning. Using a machine-learning model, we identify patients at high-risk for mortality, engage them in discussions about end-of-life care, and document their preferences, which are accessible by the whole care team. Resources:

Targeted Advance Care Planning and Multi-Disciplinary Care Using Machine Learning, Vizient Connections Education Summit. September 2020
Utilizing a Machine Learning Mortality Model to Implement Targeted Advance Care Planning and Multi-Disciplinary Care Review. May, 2021
ACP Provider Education (Duke NetID Required)

      • Optimizing patient pathways to hospice and end-of-life care. Hospice care helps patients and their caregivers manage terminal illness more effectively and face the end of life with dignity and comfort. We seek to identify patients who would benefit from hospice care and ease the transition to that care. Resources:

ED to Hospice Project Work, Objectives/Tools. June 2021
Hospice Pathways Folder (Duke NetID Required)

Yvonne Acker, RN, BSN, CPHQ, Program Manager, DUHS Survival Improvement. Contact:
Dr. Pooh Setji, Medical Director, DUHS Mortality Review, DUH Hospital Medicine. Contact: