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J Palliat Med. 2011 Jan;14(1):17-23. doi: 10.1089/jpm.2010.0347. Epub 2010 Dec 6.

Identifying patients in need of a palliative care assessment in the hospital setting: a consensus report from the Center to Advance Palliative Care.

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Medical College of Wisconsin/Froedtert Hospital , Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.


Workforce shortages, late referrals, and palliative care program resource constraints present significant barriers to meeting the needs of hospitalized patients facing serious illnesses. The Center to Advance Palliative Care convened a consensus panel to select criteria by which patients at high risk for unmet palliative care needs can be identified in advance for a palliative care screening assessment. The consensus panel developed primary and secondary criteria for two checklists-one to use for screening at the time of admission and one for daily patient rounds. The consensus panel believes that by implementing a checklist approach to screening patients for unmet palliative care needs, combined with educational initiatives and other system-change work, hospital staff engaged in day-to-day patient care can identify a majority of such needs, reserving specialty palliative care services for more complex problems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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