End-of-life conversations are quite important to have with patients that are at risk but yet bring some key challenges for doctors. Firstly, it is difficult for doctors to accurately estimate how long patients have left to live. Additionally, despite the rise in algorithms that can assist in improving the prediction, it is also hard to motivate clinicians to have these conversations with patients.
When end-of-life conversations are held early, they can not only improve patients’ quality of life but also decrease their chances of dying on a ventilator or in an intensive care unit.
A recent study published in JAMA Oncology demonstrated how the use of nudge text prompted doctors to have more of these end-of-life conversations with patients. These are difficult conversations and getting a nudge can help doctors initiate it earlier with their patients.