5 Keys for Perfecting Palliative Care

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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