As of 2017, more than 90% of hospitals with 300+ beds had an inpatient palliative care service. Hospital palliative care programs support patients in crisis by:

  • Identifying and addressing sources of suffering
  • Helping patients make goal-concordant care-plan decisions
  • Planning for appropriate care post-discharge

If you are starting—or expanding—an inpatient service, always begin with a needs assessment.

What’s in the Toolkit

Make the case for your program’s impact on care quality and costs.

Palliative Care Ensures Value

One-page infographic to introduce your organization leaders, referrers, and health plans to the quality, satisfaction, and utilization improvements resulting from palliative care.

The Case for Hospital Palliative Care

This publication includes key messages for health system leaders about the value of hospital palliative care, applicable across settings.

Demonstrating Value to Stakeholders

Tools to make the case for palliative care resources and financial partnerships, including the palliative care evidence base and downloadable tools for presenting the case.

Engage stakeholders—patients and families, organizational leadership, referrers, and financial partners—to guide program design.

Needs Assessment for the Hospital Palliative Care Program

Evaluating patient need, service requirements, and stakeholder priorities for the inpatient program.

Hospital Program Needs Assessment Data Collection Tool

Articulate the rationale for a hospital palliative care program or expanded service, and identify patient demographic and utilization data that guide the design of services. Center to Advance Palliative Care, 2015.

Hospital Program Stakeholder Interview List

Planning document for stakeholder interviews. Center to Advance Palliative Care, 2015.

Hospital Program Interview Guide

Tips and sample questions for conducting stakeholder interviews during the needs assessment process. Center to Advance Palliative Care, 2015.

Hospital Needs Assessment Key Findings Worksheet

Synthesize needs assessment data to guide program design. Center to Advance Palliative Care, 2015.

Concept Proposal Outline

Annotated template for a formal concept proposal for the inpatient palliative care program. Center to Advance Palliative Care, 2015.

Patient population, staffing mix, and service components all contribute to program design, which is guided by information from your needs assessment.

National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care, 4th edition

The National Consensus Project (NCP) Clinical Practice Guidelines are the national standard for high quality palliative care. National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care, 2018.

Hospital Palliative Care Program Design

Incorporating needs assessment and stakeholder priorities into design of a high-quality inpatient program.

Palliative Care Leadership Centers™

Palliative Care Leadership Centers (PCLC) offer hospitals two days of in-person, customized operational training and one year of mentoring.

The CAPC Guide to Building a Hospital Palliative Care Program

Comprehensive manual on hospital-based palliative care program design. Center to Advance Palliative Care, 2008.

Hospital Patient Volumes and Characteristics Worksheet

Estimate patient volume using national comparative data from the CAPC National Palliative Care Registry. Center to Advance Palliative Care, 2015.

Hospital Program Design Service Features Checklist

Planning worksheet for coverage, service norms, and staffing on the inpatient team. Center to Advance Palliative Care, 2015.

Hospital Palliative Care Program Staffing Worksheet

Project staffing FTE per discipline based on expected patient volumes. Center to Advance Palliative Care, 2015.

Hospital Palliative Care Program Design Variables to Consider

A catalog of design decisions and trade offs to refine your program design. Center to Advance Palliative Care, 2015.

Patient Identification and Assessment

Toolkit for finding the right patients at the right time to address gaps in care.

Building and Supporting Effective Palliative Care Teams

Hire and onboard your staff, manage program operations, and ensure a healthy high-functioning team using this toolkit.

Operational Features for Hospital Palliative Care Programs: Consensus Recommendations

Journal of Palliative Medicine, 2008.

Estimate start-up costs, operational costs, and reimbursement for the hospital palliative care program.

Building the Business Plan for Your Hospital Program

Building a budget and a business plan for the inpatient program. Includes business planning tools.

Optimizing Billing Practices

Toolkit with billing and coding best practices for palliative care services delivered in the hospital or the community.

National data provide a basis for comparison as you design your inpatient palliative care program.

Measurement Best Practices

Use this toolkit to select program measures that demonstrate value to stakeholders and support quality care delivery. Overcome common measurement obstacles and synthesize program data.

How We Work: Trends and Insights in Hospital Palliative Care

A comprehensive profile of hospital palliative care programs participating in the National Palliative Care Registry™ from 2009 to 2015. Highlights national trends to promote standardization and improve the quality of hospital palliative care.

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