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5 Ways To Improve The Palliative-Care Patient Experience

Posted on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 8:44 AM

According to new research published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, palliative care providers can significantly reduce their patients’ risk of unnecessary physical and emotional discomfort if they meet 10 quality measures. The research is the result of a two-year project that began with a list of 75 quality indicators which the research team reduced to 10. Of the 10 recommendations, five include:
  1. Hospice and palliative care patients should receive comprehensive physical, social, spiritual, functional, and psychological assessments soon after admission.
  2. Seriously ill patients should be screened for symptoms, including pain, nausea, and shortness of breath as part of their admission visits.
  3. Patients whose illnesses are advanced or life-threatening and whose screening indicate shortness of breath should develop a plan for managing it.
  4. Seriously ill patients should document their life preferences regarding life-sustaining care.
  5. Providers should give hospice/palliative care patients or their families a relevant survey to assess their care experience.
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