Palliative Care Consultation
Hallmark Health Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice’s Palliative Care Consultation Service offers expert care for patients and families requiring comprehensive symptom management for chronic or life-limiting illnesses. Palliative Care focuses on alleviating suffering and promoting quality of life. In addition to symptom management, the service assists patients and their families in facing the complex physical, psychological, social, and spiritual issues that often accompany advanced illness. The service is usually provided in an extended care facility.
The Palliative Care Consultation Service team is comprised of a nurse practitioner with expensive knowledge and training, who provides consultative expertise to the primary team. Our nurse practitioner will assess the patient and consult with the patient’s physician and extended care facility staff to promote quality of life, optimize function, relieve symptoms, and support decision-making.
This service is for patients in need of palliation of symptoms and distress related to chronic or life-limiting illness. While hospice care is for people coping with the last stage of life, palliative care is offered at any time in the course of a patient’s illness and can be delivered at the same time with any curative therapies.
Our Team will work with the patient, family, and referral source (extended care facility or physician) to:
•Manage pain and other distressing symptoms
•Discuss treatment options and provide coordination of care
•Provide guidance and support with decision-making, discuss difficult end-of-life issues
•Facilitate patient understanding of diagnosis and prognosis to promote informed choices
•Educate and mentor facility staff, and counsel patients and families, to ensure optimum patient care
•Counsel and educate patients and families
•Patient has chronic or serious illness with distressing symptoms; does not have to be life-limiting
•Has a deteriorating medical condition or needs pain/symptom management
•May have had multiple Emergency Room visits or Hospital admissions within the last year
•Provision of Care and Treatment Options
•Do Not Resuscitate /Do Not Intubate/Do Not Hospitalize
•Patient’s Physician is responsible for patient’s care
Benefits to Patient and Family
By including palliative care as part of the treatment plan, patients and families experience improved quality of life and patient comfort, as well as an increased focus on the patient and not the disease or diagnosis.
Benefits to Extended Care Facility
•Assistance with Care Planning
•Expertise in Management of Symptoms
•Access to specialized professional for training and support
After the initial consultation, a follow-up plan is discussed with the extended care facility, physician, and/or team.
Palliative Care Consultation is appropriate at any stage in the patient’s illness. Regardless of when the referral is made, the goal is to build a foundation of physical and emotional support for the patient and his family.