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J Pain Symptom Manage. 2011 Nov;42(5):672-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2011.08.002.

Using the improving palliative care in the intensive care unit (IPAL-ICU) project to promote palliative care consultation.

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1
The Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas 77030, USA. lasihra@tmhs.org

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The Improving Palliative Care in the Intensive Care Unit (IPAL-ICU) project is an initiative designed to improve the quality of palliative care in the intensive care unit. One of the problems to be addressed is the underutilization of palliative care.

MEASURES:

The percentage change in number of palliative care consults in the Medical ICU (MICU) and Surgical ICU (SICU) compared with the same time period the previous year was used as an objective measure to indicate increased utilization of palliative care.

INTERVENTION:

Two hundred seventy-three patients were screened for potential palliative care consultation. After each patient screening, the attending physician was offered the opportunity to consult the palliative care consultation team.

OUTCOMES:

In comparison with the same time period the previous year, an increase in palliative care consults of 113% in the MICU and of 51% in the SICU was noted during the screening period.

CONCLUSIONS/LESSONS LEARNED:

The IPAL-ICU project framework and recommendations can be effectively used to increase the number of palliative care consults in the ICU.

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