Press Releases

Palliative Care Becoming New Standard In Patient Care

New England Journal of Medicine Outlines Key Components of Effective Palliative Care for Seriously Ill Patients

New York, NY (June 16, 2004) — The New England Journal of Medicine released an article today describing new standards for patient care. The article states that palliative care should be offered in conjunction with curative treatments both to seriously ill patients and those with advanced chronic illness.

Lead author, Dr. R. Sean Morrison, Vice Chair of Research of the Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Adult Medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and consultant to the Center to Advance Palliative Care, said, "Palliative care, a new medical specialty, reduces patient suffering, improves patient and family quality of life and coordinates care across the continuum. Research shows that palliative care both improves the quality of care and more efficiently delivers care. It is fast becoming the standard for patient care, especially as the number of chronically ill and aging Americans increase." Dr. Diane Meier, Director of the Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care, also authored the article.

The article outlines critical components of palliative care, including physician-patient communication, assessment and treatment of symptoms, and coordination of care. It also highlights recent new guidelines, released by the National Consensus Project and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, which further indicate the growing demand for palliative care. According to the American Hospital Association, programs in hospitals have increased 90% in the last 5years.

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The Center to Advance Palliative Care, located at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine (NY), is a national initiative of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, providing hospitals and other healthcare settings with tools and technical assistance to develop hospital-based palliative care programs.

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