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J Palliat Med. 2012 Jul;15(7):798-804. doi: 10.1089/jpm.2011.0471. Epub 2012 Jun 11.

Measuring palliative care quality for seriously ill hospitalized patients.

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1
Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Care Program, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA. lhanson@med.unc.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Hospice and palliative care providers need ways to measure and improve care processes. We tested feasibility, usability, reliability, and validity of Prepare, Embrace, Attend, Communicate, Empower (PEACE) quality measures for palliative care.

METHODS:

Trained research nurses abstracted data from medical records to generate quality measures for a random sample of 460 seriously ill patients without, and 102 patients with, specialty palliative care (SPC) services.

RESULTS:

Patient age ranged from 16 to 99 years, 50% were women, and 24% were African American. Of 34 PEACE quality measures, 17 were feasible for hospital palliative care. Inter-rater reliability was high (κ>0.80) for all but two quality measures. Face validity was endorsed by clinical service leaders, and construct validity was established by higher scores for patients receiving SPC. Comprehensive palliative care assessment was completed for only 10% of seriously ill hospitalized patients, compared with 56% of patients with SPC (p<0.001). Patients with moderate or severe pain were more likely to have a clinical assessment with SPC (67% versus 42%, p=0.002). Patients with SPC more often received attention for their emotional and spiritual needs (64% versus 40%, p<0.001) and documentation of preferences for life-sustaining treatments (91% versus 59%, p>0.001). Usability was endorsed by service leaders, who initiated two practice improvement projects.

CONCLUSION:

PEACE quality measures are feasible and reliable, and may be useful to examine and improve the quality of palliative care for seriously ill hospitalized patients as well as for patients in hospice. Research is needed to test measures for actionability and responsiveness to intervention.

PMID:
22687268
DOI:
10.1089/jpm.2011.0471
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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