While the quality of care for seriously ill and dying patients has improved, more needs to be done to identify these patients as a unique population so quality initiatives do not subject them to tests or treatments they do not want, write the National Quality Forum's Dr. Helen Burstin and University of North Carolina epidemiologist Anna Schenck and medical professor Dr. Laura Hanson. The next steps in improving care include finding additional ways to respect patient preferences, measuring care quality in appropriate ways, helping hospices improve care through quality measures, coordinating care in all settings and improving patient access to specialists who care for seriously ill older adults.

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