Date of Publication
Jenna Page MSN, RN, OCN
Purpose: Palliative care is focused on providing relief of symptoms and the stress of chronic illness, providing an improved quality of life for both patient and family (CAPC, 2020). Eighty percent of consumers who receive information about palliative care say they would choose it for themselves or their loved ones, however, 60% of those consumers never actually receive those services (CAPC, 2020; Compton-Phillips, 2020).
Methods: This quality improvement study aimed to increase the number of appropriate palliative care consultations on an inpatient general medicine unit by designing and implementing a nurse-driven protocol and palliative screening assessment. Staff nurses were educated on the use of the palliative screening assessment and how to follow the nurse-driven protocol.
Results: The palliative screening assessment had a <10% completion rate throughout the 5 week intervention period starting in December 2021. Three palliative care consultations were called as a result of the 15 completed assessments that may not have occurred otherwise.
Conclusions: Several limitations included increase in hospital census above maximum capacity, trained staff out sick with COVID-19, reduced support staff available to help with nursing care, and a large staff turnover. Permanent nursing staff on the inpatient unit expressed that this study could be valuable when speaking to a provider and requested the project continue and expand onto different inpatient units. For process improvement, patients could be assessed during the night shift while nurses complete their chart review, screening tool integration in the EHR would promote greater access to the screening assessment.
Wilson, Tyler DNPc, RN and Garbarino, Jason DNP, RN, CNL, "Increasing Inpatient Access to Palliative Care Consultations: A Pilot Quality Improvement Study" (2022). College of Nursing and Health Sciences Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Project Publications. 96.
Available for download on Wednesday, May 03, 2023