Preparedness Survey for Joint Commission’s Palliative Care Requirement with LVAD Implantation as Destination Therapy

Topic: Specific Patient Populations


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As of 2012, 101 centers in the United States have been approved to perform LVAD placement as destination therapy. Historically, there has been little regulation over these programs and general practice often may not include the integration of a palliative care team into care provided to LVAD recipients. New regulations set by the Joint Commission require programs desiring Advanced Certification in Disease-Specific Programs to provide an interdisciplinary healthcare team, including at least one cardiothoracic surgeon, at least one cardiologist (including one heart failure specialist), a registered nurse with experience in VAD, and VAD coordinator (who may be the registered nurse), and social worker with experience with VAD recipients as well as a palliative care specialist who has expertise working with VAD patients and their families. These new regulations should have taken effect since October of 2014. The new regulations would also mandate detailed discussions about alternative options, risks, and complications of the procedure as well as the provision of extensive supportive services following the LVAD placement. We created a survey with the main objective to evaluate the perception of readiness of palliative care services into the LVAD evaluation process. The survey will be delivery to the palliative teams in the LVAD implantation Joint Commission certified hospitals. This study will be descriptive and our future plan will evaluate learning interventions of Palliative Care team in the LVAD evaluation process.



  • Cecilia Nucci, RN BSN
  • Elizabeth Chuang, MD
  • James Fausto, MD
  • Laura Hawks, MD

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