LifeCourse was developed by a team of clinicians who adapted national palliative care guidelines and practices for a patient-facing approach by a lay healthcare worker.
LifeCourse employs lay healthcare workers called care guides. The care guide meets with patients where they live and helps ask the right questions, connect with needed support, and prepare for what is coming next. LifeCourse empowers patients to seek support around medical, social, psychological, spiritual, cultural, financial, and legal issues. LifeCourse assists healthcare professionals in recognizing and honoring individual preferences and supporting individuals involved in making difficult decisions.
LifeCourse serves patients living with one or more serious illnesses in an advanced stage who are not yet appropriate or eligible for hospice. Identifying patients for LifeCourse has included criteria such as:
Additional criteria to consider for provider referral include:
Care guides are trained on a structured visit framework which incorporates the use of question sets and standardized assessment tools. Care guides are also trained in utilizing the electronic health record to connect with resources, document patient goals and updates, and message with other healthcare professionals who the patient interacts with across settings and specialties.
During monthly in-person visits with patients, care guides will:
In addition to meeting with patients, LifeCourse care guides support their patients by communicating with the patients’ care teams.
Care guides can do this by:
American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. 2017
Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. 2016