Metrics and Measurement in Palliative Care

The National Pallative Care Registry™ is open to all - both non-members and members. However, full access to more CAPC tools and technical assistance on measurement and metrics, is reserved for members. Log in now if you're from a member institution. Or to learn more about membership, please call Member Services at 212-201-2674.

“If you don’t have the data, it didn’t happen,” says CAPC consultant, Lynn Spragens.

This is why CAPC encourages you to collect, store and analyze your data. Our tools, technical assistance and the National Palliative Care Registry™ are designed to help. (The Registry is free and open to all.)

Palliative care success rests on an ability to demonstrate results. Every program should therefore develop a plan for measuring and monitoring program impact. This will ensure the establishment of baseline measurements, as well as the development of systems needed to track the palliative care program’s effect on those measurements over time.


Leveraging Palliative Care Data: Institutional Support

Maria Gatto, Director of Trinity Health, discusses how data can help palliative care programs prove their worth to members of the C-suite of an institution.

Four Categories of Measurement

CAPC recommends:

  1. Operational data (e.g., volume and type of referrals, date of admission/consultation)
  2. Clinical data (e.g., pain and symptom control)
  3. Customer data (e.g., patient, family, and health care provider satisfaction surveys)
  4. Financial data (e.g., billing revenues, cost per day, length of stay)


Data Collection and Palliative Care

Brian Cassel, PhD explains how to leverage palliative care data to demonstrate value.

Creating a Good Measurement and Monitoring System

To create a good measurement and monitoring system, CAPC encourages palliative care teams to:

  • Identify the data elements that are needed/requested by key stakeholders
  • Identify the variables currently collected or stored in existing hospital databases
  • Choose or develop standardized tools to gather information that cannot be obtained from hospital databases
  • Work with an appropriate professional (many programs employ a graduate student or intern for this purpose) to build a database or spreadsheet to store this information
  • Enter and track annual program data through CAPC’s National Palliative Care Registry™.


Measuring What Matters

Measuring What Matters is a consensus recommendation for performance measures for all hospice and palliative care programs to use for program improvement. An initiative of AAHPM and HPNA, the findings and recommendations of the consensus project were published online in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management.


Learn more about metrics and measurement for palliative care programs.  Members can access CAPC Central for all the tools, training, technical assistance, metrics and expert resources CAPC has to offer.   Please log in. To become a member organization, please visit our Membership section.