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Resources for Healthcare Professionals

Resources and Trainings

The Conversation Project is an initiative within the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). As a result of this partnership, we are proud to be able to offer a variety of virtual training and courses related to end of life conversations and care. A selection of these offerings are listed below.

Having the Conversation: Basic Skills for Conversations about End-of-Life Care (Virtual Course)

In collaboration with the IHI Open School and Boston University School of Medicine, The Conversation Project offers this course to help develop skills to have conversations with patients and their families about their preferences for care at the end of life. As part of developing these skills, the course invites you to “have the conversation” yourself, with a family member or other loved one.

This course is accessible free of charge, but requires registration for a free account on IHI.org.

“Conversation Ready”: A Framework for Improving End-of-Life Care (IHI White Paper)

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement  developed a detailed framework based on the work of The Conversation Project to help health care organizations begin the process of becoming Conversation Ready. This paper describes the Conversation Ready framework, including suggested changes and measures to guide improvement of end-of-life care.

Click here to access an upcoming virtual expedition detailing existing strategies of “Conversation Ready” organizations to engage patients and families and steward end-of-life care wishes across the health care system.

This expedition begins November 1st, and will cost $750 per participating team. 

End-of-Life Care Conversations: Medicare Reimbursement FAQs

This short, one-page guide answers frequently asked questions around Medicare reimbursement for end-of-life conversations, and provides brief suggestions and goals for providers to have the conversation with patients at different stages of illness.

Click here to access the recording of a virtual call series from 2016: End-of-Life Care Conversations: Preparing Your Team for Success and CMS Reimbursement. 

Whether you are uncertain about the new rules for CMS reimbursements, or about starting those conversations with patients, this call series serves as a helpful reference in understanding the new landscape for end of life conversationsRecordings of this call series are available to purchase for $99.

Stanford School of Medicine: Ethno Geriatrics

Stanford offers modules for health care providers to raise awareness of specific cultural, racial, and ethnic influences on health and health care of older people from specific ethnic backgrounds.


Conversation Materials

Conversation Starter Kits

The Conversation Project is dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care. Our original Conversation Starter Kit was developed to help people have conversations with their family members or other loved ones about their wishes regarding end-of-life care, and we have since created additional kits to make it easier to talk with your doctor and to appoint a medical proxy. It is our hope to increase awareness of this important topic by making these materials available to distribute within your professional networks, at provider events, and in hospitals and waiting rooms.

Click here for a full directory of our available kits.


If you would like to co-brand our kits with your organization’s logo and contact information, we have versions of our original Conversation Starter Kit, as well as our Proxy Kit and Alzheimer’s and Dementia kit, available for purchase on our Mimeo Marketplace.




Lum et al: Advance Care Planning Meets Group Medical Visits: The Feasibility of Promoting Conversations

This pilot research study from the Annals of Family Medicine explores the feasibility of promoting end of life conversations among geriatric patients using group medical visits and The Conversation Project Starter Kit as an educational tool.

What Matters Most to you? (Poster)

This research poster from Integra Community Care Network provides a summary and results of a 2017 educational program on advance directives and advance care planning in Rhode Island senior centers. This research was funded by the Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP) and used tools from The Conversation Project.

Introducing End of Life Group Discussions in the Primary Care Setting: Preliminary Findings on Patient Engagement and Satisfaction (Poster)

This research poster from Mt. Auburn Hospital and Harvard Medical School summarizes the results of a study testing the ability of the primary care physician to initiate end-of-life planning among non-terminally ill patients age 65 and older through a structured peer group discussion.


*We are excited to announce that there are multiple studies currently underway around The Conversation Project, and will link to these results as they become available. We welcome anyone to use The Conversation Project’s resources in their research, and would be happy to work with anyone interested.

Please forward any requests or questions involving research around The Conversation Project to ConversationProject@IHI.org.