As the number of Americans living with serious and chronic illness has increased, so has the penetration of palliative care in U.S. hospitals, with programs reaching a larger proportion of hospitalized patients in need. Despite growth in U.S. palliative care, many programs are still not adequately staffed to reach patients in need.
These and other findings come from “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™.
“These data reflect the need for continued investment in high quality palliative care in hospitals and other settings, if we are serious about meeting the needs of all people living with serious illnesses, and their families,” said R. Sean Morrison, MD, NPCRC director.
Key findings include:
- Steady increase in palliative care service penetration, with programs reaching a larger proportion of hospitalized patients in need
- Two-thirds of palliative care consults completed within one day of referral
- Growth in service capacity as measured by increases in staffing levels, and more programs reporting complete interdisciplinary teams
- Increase in palliative care certification across team disciplines
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