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J Pain Symptom Manage. 2015 Feb;49(2):243-53. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2014.06.008. Epub 2014 Jul 22.

The quality imperative for palliative care.

Author information

1
Duke Cancer Institute, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA; Center for Learning Health Care, Duke Clinical Research Institute, Durham, North Carolina, USA. Electronic address: arif.kamal@duke.edu.
2
Division of Geriatric Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.
3
Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
4
Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
5
Palliative Care Program, Division of Hospital Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, California, USA.
6
Center for Aging, Health and Humanities, George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA.
7
Duke Cancer Institute, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA; Center for Learning Health Care, Duke Clinical Research Institute, Durham, North Carolina, USA.

Abstract

Palliative medicine must prioritize the routine assessment of the quality of clinical care we provide. This includes regular assessment, analysis, and reporting of data on quality. Assessment of quality informs opportunities for improvement and demonstrates to our peers and ourselves the value of our efforts. In fact, continuous messaging of the value of palliative care services is needed to sustain our discipline; this requires regularly evaluating the quality of our care. As the reimbursement mechanisms for health care in the U.S. shift from fee-for-service to fee-for-value models, palliative care will be expected to report robust data on quality of care. We must move beyond demonstrating to our constituents (including patients and referrers), "here is what we do," and increase the focus on "this is how well we do it" and "let us see how we can do it better." It is incumbent on palliative care professionals to lead these efforts. This involves developing standardized methods to collect data without adding additional burden, comparing and sharing our experiences to promote discipline-wide quality assessment and improvement initiatives, and demonstrating our intentions for quality improvement on the clinical frontline.

KEYWORDS:

Quality; palliative care

PMID:
25057987
PMCID:
PMC4405112
DOI:
10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2014.06.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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