Serious Illness Conversation Guide

Part of the initiative formerly known as Honoring Choice Pacific Northwest

Ariadne Labs developed the Serious Illness Conversation Guide 

(“The Guide”) with the goal that “every person with serious illness is known and cared for on their own terms.”

The Guide helps clinicians from diverse professional backgrounds have more, better, and earlier conversations with their patients about their goals, values, and priorities that inform their future care.

Most importantly, the Guide was developed alongside patients to assure their voice is central to the process.  Studies show that clinicians who are trained to use the Guide can improve a range of outcomes including:

  • Ability to share information clearly and compassionately.
  • Understand what matters to patients and those they trust.
  • Build deeper connections to their patients and their work. 
  • Improve patient and family wellbeing. 
  • Use patient-tested language to be effective and efficient.
  • Co-create patient-centered care plans.

To find out more about The Guide, including the broader Serious Illness Care Program developed by Ariadne Labs, please see their website at:

Serious Illness Conversation Guide Trainings

Through a joint initiative of the Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA) and the Washington State Medical Association (WSMA) Foundation, over 70 teachers were trained to teach the Serious Illness Conversation Guide (SICG) across the Pacific Northwest.  SICG trainings are done using multi-modal, practice-based approaches, that involve both independent and group learning.

If you are interested in locating a training opportunity in your area, please contact your organization to see if they have an Advance Care Planning Coordinator or SICG Teacher who can provide more information.  If/when future regional SICG courses are offered through WSHA/WSMA we will announce them here. 


Trained SICG Teachers may access and download materials for their own trainings. Once downloaded, you may make adapt materials for your organizations branding, based on the Ariadne Labs SICG Teacher Agreement. After reading the Teacher Agreement, please sign the attestation.

Click here to access the materials.
This SharePoint site is for individuals officially trained to be SICG Teachers or ACP Coordinators and is password-protected. Please reach out to Mitha for the password.

A network contact list can be found in the SharePoint link above.

Deep Dive Skills Modules

These modules are under development.

  1. Making Values-Based Recommendations Part 1
  2. Making Values-Based Recommendations Part 2 (WISH tool)
  3. Interprofessional Recommendations (Coming Soon)
  4. Translating Values into POLST Recommendations (Serious Illness Care Coalition Live Webinar coming soon)

Other Resources

Serious Illness Conversation Guide – modified for Washington State.

Ariadne Labs – visit Ariadne Labs Serious Illness page for more resources and updates.

ARIA – Aria is a free online platform providing tools, resources, and community to support the successful implementation of Ariadne Labs solutions.

VitalTalk Apps – explore additional resources for serious illness communication.

POLST – visit the WSMA website for resources on POLST, including the POLST Toolkit.

Related Topics


Contact Us

Washington State Hospital Association
999 Third Avenue
Suite 1400
Seattle, WA 98104

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206.281.7211 phone
206.283.6122 fax

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