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J Palliat Med. 2010 Oct;13(10):1205-10. doi: 10.1089/jpm.2010.0112.

The intersection of need and opportunity: assessing and capitalizing on opportunities to expand hospital-based palliative care services.

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Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94143-1732, USA.



To develop and grow most effectively, palliative care programs must consider how best to align their mission with that of their institution. To do so, programs must identify their institutional mission and needs, what palliative care can do to address those needs given available resources, and how the palliative care team can measure and document its value. Such an approach encourages the palliative care team to think strategically and to see themselves and their service as a solution to issues and concerns within the institution. It also helps a palliative care team decide which, among many potential opportunities and possible initiatives, is the one most likely to be supported by the institution and have a recognized and significant impact.


We present five case studies to demonstrate how successful programs identify and address institutional needs to create opportunities for palliative care program growth. These case studies can serve as models for other programs seeking to develop or expand their palliative care services.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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