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Essential element 2: Identifying goals of care

Goals of care describe what a patient wants to achieve during an episode of care, within the context of their clinical situation. Goals of care are the clinical and personal goals for a patient’s episode of care that are determined through a shared decision-making process.

The purpose of identifying and agreeing to goals of care is to develop a shared understanding between patients, family, carers, other support people and the clinicians in the multidisciplinary team. The goal setting process clarifies the clinical expectations, personal needs and preferences of the patient and the likely steps required to attain the agreed goals.

Resources for identifying goals of care

The Commission has developed a number of resources describing different approaches to identifying goals of care including:

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