Making the Case: Data Collection Made Easy

Topic: Measuring Impact and Value



Background: Palliative Care consultation improves quality and decreases hospital costs.  Demonstrating the contribution of palliative care to stakeholders and administrators is challenging. 

Methods: Based on published metrics, we developed a web-based tracking tool to improve adherence to standard consult components and quality interventions.  It was accessible through a link in our electronic medical record.  Providers prospectively completed the tool for each consult.  Metrics were analyzed via Excel spreadsheet. 

Results: Between July, 2014 and June 2015, 2949 consults were performed with 2286 having completed tools (77.5% completion rate).  Although < 10% of consults requested were for symptom management, uncontrolled symptoms were identified and treated in 26% of cases.  Eliciting patient/family values resulted in less aggressive medical care at end of life.  Forty-eight percent of patient/families chose "no CPR" status; 23% of patients seen were referred to hospice services; 10% were transferred out of a critical care setting; and in 18% there was decrease in resource utilization. 

Conclusion: Use of the tool was efficient to quantify interventions commonly performed in palliative care consultation. 

Implications: The data tracking tool may be adapted to specific stakeholder interests, whether it is cost based or quality based.


  • Jennifer Allen
  • Palliative Medicine Consulting Physician
  • Lehigh Valley Health Network
  • 2166 South 12th Street Suite 402
  • Allentown, PA 18103
  • (610) 402-8106


  • D. Ray
  • D. Stevens
  • R. Schira

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