Improving Care for the End of Life, Online Edition The Palliative Care Policy Center

Sourcebook : Improving Care for the End of Life : 8.2 Building a Model That Works

Several models exist for palliative care programs in hospitals: dedicated inpatient units, palliative care experts, consultative services, or some combination of the three. Some programs rely on a nurse practitioner to coordinate care throughout medical-surgical wards; others rely on a team of physicians to make consults. Some programs have a very structured mechanism to receive referrals; others use physician outreach and networking for referrals.

Key Features of Palliative Care Consultations
  • Assessing, preventing, and relieving physical and emotional symptoms
  • Helping patients identify personal and treatment goals
  • Assessing and addressing psychological and spiritual needs
  • Mobilizing support for the patientís personal and family resources
  • Estimating and communicating prognosis
  • Assisting in making discharge plans
  • Educating patient and family on self-management and use of community and other resources
Source: Weissman, 1997

8.2.1 Case Study - Northwestern Memorial Hospital
8.2.2 Case Study - Memorial Sloan-Kettering
8.2.3 Case Study - Detroit Receiving Hospital
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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 ].

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