Different palliative-care programs provide different services.
It is important for hospitalists to learn their local palliative-care programs and what they emphasize and are able to offer—or not, says Dr. Sinclair.
“There are so many different models,” he says. “Spend some time reaching out to them, outside of actual consults, and find out what their comfort level is on various issues. Hospitalists and palliative-care teams should get to know each other better.”
Access to palliative care and the comprehensiveness of the team and services can vary between hospitals, while access to community-based palliative care outside of the hospital is even more variable.
“Palliative-care teams often have a better sense of our partners in the community and access to community-based palliative care,” Dr. Fischberg says.
- Morrison RS, Meier DE. America’s Care of Serious Illness: 2015 State-by-State Report Card on Access to Palliative Care in Our Nation’s Hospitals. New York, NY: Center to Advance Palliative Care; 2015.
- American Academy of Pediatrics. Policy statement: pediatric palliative care and hospice care commitments, guidelines, and recommendations. Pediatr. 2013;132(5):966-972.
- Morrison RS, Penrod JD, Cassel JB, et al. Cost savings associated with US hospital palliative care consultation programs. Arch Intern Med. 2008;168(16):1783-1790.
- Temel JS, Greer JA, Muzikansky et al. Early palliative care for patients with metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer. N Engl J Med. 2010;363(8):733-742.