Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious, life-limiting conditions. The goal of palliative care is to prevent and relieve suffering, improve the patient’s quality of life, and to provide the best care possible to patients and their families while faced with a serious illness, as well as during the time when there are no longer curative treatment options. Our Palliative Care Team is multidisciplinary, working together with the patient’s other health care providers to offer an extra layer of support, while focusing on:
Symptoms: Patients with serious illness often have debilitating symptoms such as pain, nausea, shortness of breath, anxiety, constipation, depression, and/or fatigue. Our team has expert knowledge to assist with managing these and other symptoms. In addition to physical symptoms, we care for the patient as a whole person, and explore emotional, social and spiritual needs as we understand how these factors can significantly impact a patient and family facing serious illness.
Enhanced Communication: Our team will partner with patients, families, and other doctors/health care providers in the hospital to help with communication, so that we can align treatment options with a patient’s goals. We spend the time needed to ensure a patient and family understand their illness and options, so that a truly informed decision can be made about the direction a patient’s care should take.
Improved Transitions of Care: Our team works very closely with the Care Coordination team to help patients find the right services after discharge that are consistent with their goals, creating a seamless continuum of care across a range of clinical settings.
Inpatient Palliative Care Consults
When a palliative care consult is requested for a patient in the hospital, the specialist physician or nurse practitioner conducts a detailed review of the patient’s medical record, and speaks with other physicians and caregivers involved in the patient’s current care. Team members will then meet with the patient and/or family to discuss and review a variety of topics including symptoms, knowledge of disease process, quality of life, treatment options, and goals of the patient and/or family. We then communicate our findings back to the referring physician and other involved clinical specialists