Interventions to improve quality of life for the seriously ill are often provided haphazardly, says Sean Morrison, MD, Professor of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital. In a recent post in HealthLeaders magazine, Dr. Morrison offers five keys to institutions for transforming palliative care in the hospital system. Among the tips is a call for palliative care teams to first define their objectives and have a clear understanding of why their services are essential to help those facing serious illness.
“To achieve the necessary buy-in to make improvements in all of these areas, organizations must begin with a clear message about what palliative care truly means,” says Dr. Morrison. The other keys include:
- Investing in mid-career training for primary-care physicians as well as palliative care specialists so that all are equally trained in providing the necessary communication and pain management skills
- Ensuring a consistent and accurate screening mechanism to identify patients and families who can benefit from palliative care
- Spreading out into new areas such as the community setting to better care for members of an institution’s population.
- Monitoring and reporting on metrics to further show the efficacy of palliative care
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