Most dying patients, in most settings, most of the time, are in pain or suffer other symptoms. In making baseline measures, many Breakthrough Series teams were surprised to find just how poorly their programs were doing - but this poor finding challenged groups to do better. The current state of pain management in most institutions in the country is far from ideal. In contrast, best practices enable clinicians to assess and alleviate most pain and other symptoms. When best practices are used, patients and families come to expect relief from suffering, not agony. By aiming for best and optimum practices, improvement teams can set goals for their patients, hospital wards or units, and institutions.
|Practices in Managing Pain and Other Symptoms|
The following case study shows how one organization pinpointed institutional barriers to effective pain management, then used Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles to improve practice.
3.1.1 Case Study - St. Mary's Health Center
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This online version of the book Improving Care for the End of Life: A Sourcebook for Health Care Managers and Clinicians is provided with permission of Americans for Better Care of the Dying [ www.abcd-caring.org ] and Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
For further information on quality improvement in end-of-life care visit The Palliative Care Policy Center [ www.medicaring.org ].