Improving Clinical Outcomes
Palliative care programs transition patients from the hospital to the most appropriate services or care settings. For example, studies show palliative care programs can double or triple hospice referral rates for patients in the last weeks of life. In addition, palliative care programs facilitate communication about the most appropriate care setting to achieve the goals of care, resulting in reduced hospital and ICU length of stay.
Palliative care relieves pain and distressing symptoms.
Palliative care programs significantly reduce pain levels and increase patient satisfaction with pain management. Numerous studies also show palliative care controls fatigue, anxiety, breathlessness, nausea, depression, constipation, and other sources of symptom distress.
Palliative care helps with difficult decision-making.
Palliative care teams meet with patients and their families to discuss goals of care and develop treatment plans. This intensive communication results in a high level of patient and family satisfaction and smooth coordination of care between settings.
Palliative care helps patients complete life-prolonging or curative treatments.
Pain and other symptoms result in complications and slower recovery for patients. Studies show that cancer patients receiving palliative care during their chemotherapy are more likely to complete their cycle of treatment, stay in clinical trials, and report a higher quality of life than similar patients who did not receive palliative care.
Palliative care boosts patient and family satisfaction.
Patients and families who receive palliative care report extremely high levels of satisfaction with their hospital care.