PURPOSE: Women who experience out-of-hospital cardiac arrest have similar rates of survival to hospital admission as men; however, women are less likely to survive to hospital discharge. We hypothesized that women would have higher rates of "do not attempt resuscitation" (DNAR) orders and that this order would be associated with lower use of aggressive interventions.
METHODS: We identified adult hospital admissions with a diagnosis of cardiac arrest (ICD-9 427.5) from the 2010 California State Inpatient Dataset. Multivariable logistic regression was used to test the association between patient sex and a DNAR order within the first 24 h of admission, adjusting for patient demographic characteristics and comorbid medical conditions. In secondary analysis, procedures performed after establishment of DNAR order and survival to hospital discharge were compared by sex.
FINDINGS: We analyzed 6562 patients (44% women, 56% men) who experienced out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and survived to hospital admission. In unadjusted analysis, more women than men had establishment of a DNAR order during the first 24 h of admission (23.4% versus 19.3%; P < 0.01). After adjusting for age, race, and comorbid conditions, women remained significantly more likely to have a DNAR order established during the first 24 h of their hospital admission after cardiac arrest compared with men (odds ratio = 1.23; 95% CI, 1.09-1.40). No sex difference was found in procedures used after DNAR order was established.
IMPLICATIONS: Female survivors of cardiac arrest are significantly more likely than men to have a DNAR order established within the first 24 h of in-hospital treatment. The establishment of a DNAR order is associated with patients undergoing fewer procedures than individuals who do not have a DNAR order established. Given that patients who have a DNAR order receive less-aggressive intervention after arrest, it is possible that an early DNAR order may contribute to sex differences in survival to hospital discharge.
OBJECTIVE: To identify and synthesise existing literature exploring the impact of relational and informational continuity of care on preferred place of death, hospital admissions and satisfaction for palliative care patients in qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods literature.
DESIGN: A mixed methods rapid review.
METHODS: PUBMED, PsychINFO, CINAHL were searched from June 2008 to June 2018 in order to identify original peer reviewed, primary qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods research exploring the impact of continuity of care for people receiving palliative care. Synthesis methods as outlined by the Cochrane Qualitative and Implementation Methods Group were applied to qualitative studies while meta-analyses for quantitative data were planned.
OUTCOMES: The impact of interventions designed to promote continuity of care for people receiving palliative care on the following outcomes was explored: achieving preferred place of death, satisfaction with care and avoidable hospital admissions.
RESULTS: 18 eligible papers were identified (11 qualitative, 6 quantitative and 1 mixed methods papers). In all, 1951 patients and 190 family caregivers were recruited across included studies. Meta-analyses were not possible due to heterogeneity in outcome measures and tools used. Two studies described positive impact on facilitating preferred place of death. Four described a reduction in avoidable hospital admissions. No negative impacts of interventions designed to promote continuity were reported. Patient satisfaction was not assessed in quantitative studies. Participants described a significant impact on their experiences as a result of the lack of informational and relational continuity.
CONCLUSIONS: This rapid review highlights the impact that continuity of care can have on the experiences of patients receiving palliative care. The evidence for the impact of continuity on place of death and hospital admissions is limited. Methods for enhancing, and recording continuity should be considered in the design and development of future healthcare interventions to support people receiving palliative care.
The integration of specialized geriatric providers with trauma services has received increased attention with promising results. Palliative medicine consultation (PMC) has been shown to reduce length of stay, improve symptom management, and clarify advance directives in the geriatric trauma population. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether PMC reduced tracheostomies and percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomies (trach/PEG) and readmission rates in the geriatric trauma population. Retrospective cohort analysis of patients 65 years of age and older, admitted to a Level I trauma center surgical intensive care unit from 2013 to 2014. Patients who died within 1 day were excluded. Statistical analyses included descriptive statistics, independent-samples t test for continuous variables, 2 test for categorical variables, and logistic regression analysis. A total of 202 patients were included. Palliative medicine consultation occurred in 48%. Average time from admission to PMC was 2.91 days. Thirty-day readmission rate was 19.3%. Patients with a PMC (69.1%) were less likely to undergo trach/PEG (30.9%; p < .001) but more likely if the consult was late (>72 hr posttrauma; 22.0% vs. 40.4%; p = .05). Patients without a trach/PEG were more likely to survive 1 year posttrauma (85.7% vs. 14.3%; p = .003). Thirty-day readmission rates were similar between groups. In a logistic regression analysis, PMC, age, and injury severity score demonstrated an independent association with trach/PEG (all p < .05). Early palliative consults (<72 hr posttrauma) for geriatric trauma patients may reduce tracheostomy and percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy procedures and hospital stays.
Background: Patients requiring mechanical ventilation (MV) have high morbidity and mortality. Providing palliative care has been suggested as a way to improve comprehensive management. The objective of this retrospective cross-sectional study was to identify predictors for palliative care utilization and the association with hospital length of stay (LOS) among surgical patients requiring prolonged MV (= 96 consecutive hours).
Methods: National Inpatient Sample (NIS) data 2009–2013 was used to identify adults (age = 18) who had a surgical procedure and required prolonged MV (= 96 consecutive hours), as well as patients who also had a palliative care encounter. Outcomes were palliative care utilization and association with hospital LOS.
Results: Utilization of palliative care among surgical patients with prolonged MV increased yearly, from 5.7% in 2009 to 11.0% in 2013 (p < 0.001). For prolonged MV surgical patients who died, palliative care increased from 15.8% in 2009 to 33.2% in 2013 (p < 0.001). Median hospital LOS for patients with and without palliative care was 16 and 18 days, respectively (p < 0.001). Patients discharged to either short or long term care facilities had a shorter LOS if palliative care was provided (20 vs. 24 days, p < 0.001). Factors associated with palliative care utilization included older age, malignancy, and teaching hospitals. Non-Caucasian race was associated with less palliative care utilization.
Conclusions: Among surgical patients receiving prolonged MV, palliative care utilization is increasing, although it remains low. Palliative care is associated with shorter hospital LOS for patients discharged to short or long term care facilities.
BACKGROUND: Acute hospitalization is a frequent reason for live discharge from hospice. Although risk factors for live discharge among hospice patients have been well documented, prior research has not examined the role of neighborhood socioeconomic characteristics, or how these characteristics relate to racial/ethnic disparities in hospice outcomes.
OBJECTIVE: To examine associations between neighborhood socioeconomic characteristics and risk for live discharge from hospice because of acute hospitalization. The authors also explore the moderating role of race/ethnicity in any observed relationship.
RESEARCH DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study using electronic medical records of hospice patients (N=17,290) linked with neighborhood-level socioeconomic data (N=55 neighborhoods). Multilevel models were used to identify the independent significance of patient and neighborhood-level characteristics for risk of live discharge because of acute hospitalization.
RESULTS: Compared with the patients in the most well-educated and affluent sections of New York City [quartile (Q)4], the odds of live discharge from hospice because of acute hospitalization were greater among patients who resided in neighborhoods where lower proportions of residents held college degrees [Q1 adjusted odds ratio (AOR), 1.36; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.06-1.75; Q2 AOR, 1.41; 95% CI, 1.07-1.84] and median household incomes were lower (Q1 AOR, 1.42; 95% CI, 1.10-1.85; Q2 AOR, 1.43; 95% CI, 1.10-1.85; Q3 AOR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.07-1.80). However, these observed relationships were not equally distributed by patient race/ethnicity; the association of neighborhood socioeconomic disadvantage and risk for live discharge was significantly lower among Hispanic compared with white patients.
CONCLUSIONS: Findings demonstrate neighborhood socioeconomic disadvantage poses a significant risk for live discharge from hospice. Additional research is needed to clarify the social mechanisms underlying this association, including greater attention to the experiences of hospice patients from under-represented racial/ethnic groups.
Family support is more, not less, important during crisis. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, maintaining public safety necessitates restricting the physical presence of families for hospitalized patients. In response, health systems must rapidly adapt family-centric procedures and tools to circumvent restrictions on physical presence. Strategies for maintaining family integrity must acknowledge clinicians’ limited time and attention to devote to learning new skills. Internet-based solutions can facilitate the routine, predictable, and structured communication which is central to family-centered care. But the reliance on technology may compromise patient privacy and exacerbate racial, socioeconomic, and geographic disparities for populations that lack access to reliable internet access, devices or technological literacy. We provide a toolbox of strategies for supporting family-centered inpatient care during physical distancing responsive to the current clinical climate. Innovations in the implementation of family involvement during hospitalizations may lead to long-term progress in the delivery of family-centered care.
Background: In order to avoid unnecessary use of hospital services at the end-of-life, palliative care should be initiated early enough in order to have sufficient time to initiate and carry out good quality advance care planning (ACP). This single center study assesses the impact of the PC decision and its timing on the use of hospital services at EOL and the place of death.
Methods: A randomly chosen cohort of 992 cancer patients treated in a tertiary hospital between Jan 2013 –Dec 2014, who were deceased by the end of 2014, were selected from the total number of 2737 identified from the hospital database. The PC decision (the decision to terminate life-prolonging anticancer treatments and focus on symptom centered palliative care) and use of PC unit services were studied in relation to emergency department (ED) visits, hospital inpatient days and place of death.
Results: A PC decision was defined for 82% of the patients and 37% visited a PC unit. The earlier the PC decision was made, the more often patients had an appointment at the PC unit (> 180 days prior to death 72% and < 14 days 10%). The number of ED visits and inpatient days were highest for patients with no PC decision and lowest for patients with both a PC decision and an PC unit appointment (60 days before death ED visits 1.3 vs 0.8 and inpatient days 9.9 vs 2.9 respectively, p < 0.01). Patients with no PC decision died more often in secondary/tertiary hospitals (28% vs. 19% with a PC decision, and 6% with a decision and an appointment to a PC unit).
Conclusions: The PC decision to initiate a palliative goal for the treatment had a distinct impact on the use of hospital services at the EOL. Contact with a PC unit further increased the likelihood of EOL care at primary care.
We assessed the trend of palliative care (PC) referrals and its effect on hospitalization cost and length of stay (LOS) in ruptured aortic aneurysm (rAA). The Nationwide Inpatient Sample from 2005 to 2014 was used to identify admissions with age =50 and rAA. A total of 54 134 rAA admissions were identified and 5019 (9.3%) had PC referrals. During the study period, PC referral rate increased from 0.97% to 15.3% (P trend < .0001). Length of stay (1.7 vs 2.8 days, adjusted mean ratio [aMR] = 0.62, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.58-0.66), and cost (US$7778 vs US$13 575, aMR = 0.57, 95% CI: 0.52-0.63) were significantly lower in rAA admissions that did not undergo interventions. In the percutaneous repair group, LOS was similar but the cost was higher (US$61 759 vs US$52 260, aMR = 1.18, 95% CI: 1.05-1.30), whereas in surgical repair group, LOS was shorter (4.6 vs 5.9 days, aMR = 0.77, 95% CI: 0.73-0.82) but the cost was higher (US$59 755 vs US$52 523, aMR = 1.14, 95% CI: 1.02-1.28). Palliative care could shorten LOS and save hospitalization cost in rAA admissions not a candidate for repair. Further studies are required to investigate the variable effects of PC on rAA.
Objective:To investigate trends and associated factors of utilization of hospital palliative care among patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and analyze its impact on length of hospital stay, hospital charges, and in-hospital mortality.
Methods: Using the 2005-2014 National Inpatient Sample in the United States, the compound annual growth rate was used to investigate the temporal trend of utilization of hospital palliative care. Multivariate multilevel logistic regression analyses were performed to analyze the association with patient-related factors, hospital factors, length of stay, in-hospital mortality, and hospital charges.
Results: The overall proportion of utilization of hospital palliative care for the patient with SLE was 0.6% over 10 years. It increased approximately 12-fold from 0.1% (2005) to 1.17% (2014). Hospital palliative care services were offered more frequently to older patients, patients with high severity illnesses, and in urban teaching hospitals or large size hospitals. Patients younger than 40 years, the lowest household income group, or Medicare beneficiaries less likely received palliative care during hospitalization. Hospital palliative care services were associated with increased length of stay (? = 1.407, P < .0001) and in-hospital mortality (odds ratio, 48.18; 95% confidence interval, 41.59-55.82), and reduced hospital charge (? = ?0.075, P = .009).
Conclusion: Hospital palliative care service for patients with SLE gradually increased during the past decade in US hospitals. However, this showed disparities in access and was associated with longer hospital length of stay and higher in-hospital mortality. Nevertheless, hospital palliative care services yielded a cost-saving effect.
Aims: To examine the impact of palliative care on acute care hospitalizations, survival, symptoms, and quality of life (QOL) in patients with advanced heart failure.
Methods and results: We conducted a systematic search of publications through CENTRAL, CINAHL, EMBASE, and MEDLINE originally up to July 2017, and then updated to June 2019. The study was registered (PROSPERO ID: CRD42017069685) prior to its initiation. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were included that tested an interdisciplinary palliative care intervention (compared to usual care) primarily in a heart failure population. Main outcomes assessed were hospitalizations, mortality, QOL, and symptom burden. Ten independent RCTs were selected, representing a total of 1050 participants (921 with a diagnosis of heart failure). Compared with usual care, palliative care interventions were associated with a substantial reduction in hospitalizations [odds ratio 0.56 (0.33–0.94); four trials; I2 = 27%], modest improvement in QOL [standardized mean difference (SMD) 0.25; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.06–0.45; seven trials; I2 = 15%], and modest reduction in symptom burden (SMD -0.29; 95% CI -0.54–0.03; three trials; I2 = 15%). There was no clear adverse impact on mortality. Most studies had methodological limitations that increased the risk of biases.
Conclusion: Compared to usual care, palliative care interventions substantially reduce hospitalizations, with no clear adverse effect on survival. Effects on QOL and symptom burden appear to be modest, and indicate that further efforts to improve these patient centred outcomes are needed.
OBJECTIVES: To estimate differences in spending and utilization between hospice users and non-users with lung cancer by length of hospice enrollment.
STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective analysis using 2009-2013 Medicare claims.
METHODS: The study sample was a 10% random sample of Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries with lung cancer who died between 2010 and 2013. We identified different categories of hospice users (hospice enrollment for 1-7 days, 8-14 days, 15-30 days, 31-60 days, 61 days - 6 months) and non-users. We used propensity score matching to match users in each enrollment category with non-users. The outcomes were: a) total Medicare spending, b) number of hospitalizations, c) number of emergency department (ED) visits, d) number of physician-administered chemotherapy claims, and e) number of radiation therapy sessions. Regression analysis was used to compare outcomes between users and non-users by enrollment period.
RESULTS: Hospice users had significantly lower spending, fewer hospitalizations, and fewer ED visits than non-users across all categories of hospice enrollment. Large savings occurred when patients stayed in hospice for at least one month (US$16,566 for those enrolled 61 days - 6 months; US$16,409 for those enrolled 31-60 days). Significant reduction in use of outpatient services including chemotherapy and radiation therapy was observed among patients using hospice for at least 1 month.
CONCLUSIONS: Hospice led to cost savings by reducing utilization of aggressive care towards end-of-life among lung cancer patients. While cost savings were realized even when hospice is utilized for a short duration, large savings occurred when hospice is used for at least 1 month.
BACKGROUND: Hospitalisation during the last weeks of life when there is no medical need or desire to be there is distressing and expensive. This study sought palliative care initiatives which may avoid or shorten hospital stay at the end of life and analysed their success in terms reducing bed days.
METHODS: Part 1 included a search of literature in PubMed and Google Scholar between 2013 and 2018, an examination of governmental and organisational publications plus discussions with external and co-author experts regarding other sources. This initial sweep sought to identify and categorise relevant palliative care initiatives. In Part 2, we looked for publications providing data on hospital admissions and bed days for each category.
RESULTS: A total of 1252 abstracts were reviewed, resulting in ten broad classes being identified. Further screening revealed 50 relevant publications describing a range of multi-component initiatives. Studies were generally small and retrospective. Most researchers claim their service delivered benefits. In descending frequency, benefits identified were support in the community, integrated care, out-of-hours telephone advice, care home education and telemedicine. Nurses and hospices were central to many initiatives. Barriers and factors underpinning success were rarely addressed.
CONCLUSIONS: A wide range of initiatives have been introduced to improve end-of-life experiences. Formal evidence supporting their effectiveness in reducing inappropriate/non-beneficial hospital bed days was generally limited or absent.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: N/A.
Importance: Growing evidence shows that palliative care (PC) improves treatment outcomes in patients with heart failure (HF), but few large-scale studies have prospectively evaluated the processes and outcomes associated with PC consultation for such patients in the real world.
Objective: To characterize processes and outcomes of PC consultations for hospitalized patients with HF compared with patients with cancer.
Design, Setting, and Participants: This cohort study of inpatient encounters at community and academic hospitals in the Palliative Care Quality Network enrolled participants between 2013 and 2017. Of a total of 135 197 patients, 57 272 adults with a primary diagnosis of HF or cancer receiving PC consultation were enrolled. Data analysis was performed from April 2018 to December 2019.
Exposures: Primary diagnosis of HF or cancer.
Main Outcomes and Measures: Symptom improvement and changes in care planning documentation after PC consultation.
Results: At the time of consultation, patients with HF were older (mean age, 75.3 years [95% CI, 75.0-75.5 years] vs 65.2 years [95% CI, 65.0-65.3 years]; P < .001), had lower Palliative Performance Scale scores (mean, 35.6% [95% CI, 35.3%-35.9%] vs 42.4% [95% CI, 42.2%-42.6%]; P < .001), and were more likely to be in a critical care unit (5808 of 16 741 patients [35.3%] vs 4985 of 40 531 patients [12.5%]; P < .001) or a telemetry or step-down unit (5802 of 16 741 patients [35.2%] vs 7651 of 40 531 patients [19.2%]; P < .001) compared with patients with cancer. Patients with HF were less likely than patients with cancer to be referred to PC within 24 hours of admission (6773 of 16 741 patients [41.2%] vs 19 348 of 40 531 patients [49.0%]; P < .001) and had longer hospitalizations before receiving PC consultation requests (mean, 4.6 days [95% CI, 4.4-4.8 days] vs 3.9 days [95% CI, 3.8-4.0 days]; P < .001). Patients with HF were referred less frequently for symptoms other than pain (1686 of 16 488 patients [10.2%] vs 8587 of 39 609 patients [21.7%]; P < .001), but were equally likely to report improvements in anxiety (odds ratio, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.71-1.02; P = .08) and more likely to report improvements in dyspnea (odds ratio, 2.17; 95% CI, 1.83-2.57; P < .001) compared with patients with cancer. Patients with HF were less likely than those with cancer to be discharged alive (odds ratio, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.64-0.96; P = .02) or to be referred to hospice (odds ratio, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.47-0.53; P < .001).
Conclusions and Relevance: These findings suggest that PC referral comes late for patients with HF and is used primarily to discuss care planning. Practitioners caring for patients with HF should consider involving PC experts earlier for symptom management.
OBJECTIVES: We investigated trends in end-of-life hospitalizations among nursing home residents (NHR) over 10 years and looked at differences between age groups and sexes as well as the length of terminal hospital stays.
STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study based on health insurance claims data of the AOK Bremen/Bremerhaven. All NHR aged 65 years or more who died between 2006 and 2015 were included.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: We assessed the proportions of decedents who were in hospital on the day of death and during the last 3, 7, 14 and 30 days of life, stratified by two-year periods. Multiple logistic regressions were conducted to study changes over time, adjusting for covariates.
RESULTS: A total of 10,781 decedents were included (mean age 86.1 years, 72.1 % females). Overall, 29.2 % died in hospital, with a slight decrease from 30.3 % in 2006-2007 to 28.3 % in 2014-2015 (OR 0.86; 95 % CI 0.75-0.98). Of the 3150 terminal hospitalizations, 35.5 % lasted up to 3 days and the mean length of stay decreased from 9.0 (2006-2007) to 7.5 days (2014-2015). When looking at the last 7, 14 and 30 days of life, no changes over time were found. Male sex and younger age were associated with a higher chance of end-of-life hospitalization in almost all analyses.
CONCLUSIONS: End-of-life hospitalizations of NHR are common in Germany. There has been a small decrease during recent years in the proportion of in-hospital deaths, but not of hospitalizations during the last 7, 14 and 30 days of life. This might be explained by shorter durations of hospital stays.
PURPOSE: To determine whether the type of delivery system is associated with intensity of care at the end of life for Medicare beneficiaries with cancer.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We used SEER registry data linked with Medicare claims to evaluate intensity of end-of-life care for patients who died of one of ten common cancers diagnosed from 2009 through 2014. Patients were categorized as receiving the majority of their care in an integrated delivery system, designated cancer center, health system that was both integrated and a certified cancer center, or health system that was neither. We evaluated adherence to seven nationally endorsed end-of-life quality measures using generalized linear models across four delivery system types.
RESULTS: Among 100,549 beneficiaries who died of cancer during the study interval, we identified only modest differences in intensity of end-of-life care across delivery system structures. Health systems with no cancer center or integrated affiliation demonstrated higher proportions of patients with multiple hospitalizations in the last 30 days of life (11.3%), death in an acute care setting (25.9%), and lack of hospice use in the last year of life (31.6%; all P < .001). Patients enrolled in hospice had lower intensity care across multiple end-of-life quality measures.
CONCLUSION: Intensity of care at the end of life for patients with cancer was higher at delivery systems with no integration or cancer focus. Maximal supportive care delivered through hospice may be one avenue to reduce high-intensity care at the end of life and may impact quality of care for patients dying from cancer.
BACKGROUND: Care home residents are increasingly frail with complex health and social care needs. Their transfer to hospital at the end-of-life can be associated with unwanted interventions and distress. However, hospitals do enable provision of care that some residents wish to receive. We aimed to explore the factors that influence hospital admission of care home residents who then died in hospital.
METHODS: This study combined in-depth case note review of care home residents dying in two Scottish teaching hospitals during a 6-month period and semi-structured interviews with a purposive sample of 26 care home staff and two relatives.
RESULTS: During the 6-month period, 109 care home residents died in hospital. Most admissions occurred out-of-hours (69%) and most were due to a sudden event or acute change in clinical condition (72%). Length of stay in hospital before death was short, with 42% of deaths occurring within 3 days. Anticipatory Care Planning (ACP) regarding hospital admission was documented in 44%.Care home staff wanted to care for residents who were dying; however, uncertain trajectories of decline, acute events, challenges of ACP, relationship with family and lack of external support impeded this.
CONCLUSIONS: Managing acute changes on the background of uncertain trajectories is challenging in care homes. Enhanced support is required to improve and embed ACP in care homes and to provide rapid, 24 hours-a-day support to manage difficult symptoms and acute changes.
BACKGROUND: Decisions to limit use of life-sustaining treatment occur frequently during hospitalizations, and portable medical orders (also known as Portable Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST)) can ensure that patient preferences regarding resuscitation are followed after discharge.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the frequency and predictors of completion of POLST orders for adults with change during hospitalization in resuscitation status to Do Not Resuscitate.
DESIGN: Retrospective observational study at level 1 trauma and academic hospital in Minneapolis, MN, USA PARTICIPANTS: All adults (18 years or older) hospitalized between June 2017 and June 2018, inclusive, with code status changed from Full Code to DNR. For patients with more than one hospitalization during this study interval, only the first hospitalization when DNR was ordered was included in this analysis.
MAIN MEASURES: Completion of POLST orders by time of discharge.
KEY RESULTS: From 2017 to 2018, 160 adults had a change from Full Code to DNR status during index hospitalization and survived to discharge, most (156 patients) to a nursing care facility. Of these, only 50 (31.2%) had POLST orders provided at discharge. Documentation of informed refusal of intubation in addition to DNR status was a significant predictor (OR 4.1, 99% CI 1.5-11.0) of POLST orders on discharge, as was admission to a medical service compared with non-medical service (OR 3.2, 99% CI 1.1-12.2). Palliative care consultants, rather than primary providers on the hospital services, completed most POLST orders.
CONCLUSIONS: Despite primary hospital providers engaging in conversations regarding resuscitation and entering DNR orders during hospitalization, the majority of patients in our study discharged to other care facilities without POLST orders. POLST orders are a simple palliative care tool available to primary hospital providers to help ensure continuity of plan of care at discharge for patients who wish to avoid invasive life-sustaining treatments and/or cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Background: Research shows that access to palliative care can help patients avoid dying in hospital. However, access to palliative care services during the terminal hospitalization, specifically, has not been well studied.
Objective: To determine whether access to palliative care varied by disease trajectory among terminal hospitalizations.
Design, Setting, Subjects: We conducted a population-based retrospective cohort study of decedents who died in hospital in Ontario, Canada between 2012 and 2015 by using linked administrative databases.
Measurements: Using hospital and physician billing codes, we classified access to palliative care in three mutually exclusive groups of patients with terminal hospitalization: (1) main diagnosis for admission was palliative care; (2) main diagnosis was not palliative care, but the patient received palliative care specialist consultation; and (3) the patient did not receive any specialist palliative care. We conducted a logistic regression on odds of never receiving palliative care.
Results: We identified 140,475 decedents who died in an inpatient hospital unit, which represents 42% of deaths. Among inpatient hospital deaths, 23% (n = 32,168) had palliative care listed as the main diagnosis for admission, 41% (n = 58,210) received specialist palliative care consultation, and 36% (n = 50,097) never had access to specialist palliative care. In our regression, dying of organ failure or frailty compared with cancer increased the odds of never receiving palliative care by 4.07 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.95–4.20) and 4.51 (95% CI: 4.35–4.68) times, respectively.
onclusions: A third of hospital deaths had no palliative care involvement. Access to specialist palliative care is particularly lower for noncancer decedents. Inpatient units play an important role in providing end-of-life care.
BACKGROUND: Early palliative care addresses biopsychosocial needs for people living with HIV in an outpatient setting. We sought to describe patients referred to a palliative care program and compare the medical outcomes of emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalizations, primary care visits, and viral load suppression among patients enrolled in the program, to patients who did not enroll (no-show group).
SETTING: We completed a retrospective cohort study at an urban, academically- affiliated HIV primary care clinic.
METHODS: Data were collected from electronic medical records. Descriptive statistics characterized patient demographics at baseline, comorbidities, and reasons for referral to palliative care. Viral load suppression, rates of ED visits, hospitalizations, primary care visits, and retention in care were compared between the palliative and no-show groups.
RESULTS: The most common reasons for referral were chronic pain management and medication/appointment adherence. Median percent of viral load measurements suppressed increased over time, but did not differ statistically between groups (Pre: 28.6% and 15.5%, post: 70.8% and 50.0%, palliative and no-show groups respectively). Median rates of ED visits and hospitalizations were low and were not impacted by palliative care. Rates of primary care visit attendance remained stable in the palliative group (4.6/year) but declined in the no-show group (3.5/year), p<0.05. Retention in care improved significantly following the palliative intervention (Palliative: 85.4% to 96.1%, No-show: 94.4% to 82.5%), and at high and low palliative engagement, suggesting a threshold effect of the intervention.
CONCLUSION: Outpatient early palliative care is a promising intervention that might impact retention in HIV care.
Introduction: Patients may be admitted to hospital by paediatric palliative care units (PPCU) for different reasons, due to their different needs and clinical problems. The objective of this study is to present the data of patients admitted to the PPCU of the Autonomous Community of Madrid.
Methods: Descriptive retrospective study was conducted by reviewing the clinical records of the PPCU between January 2011 and December 2016.
Results: of 499 patients attended in this period, 166 (33%) were admitted to hospital at some point, generating a total of 314 episodes. Respiratory problems (34%) were the main cause of admission. Gastrostomy intervention (23 patients) was the commonest reason for a surgical admission. In this period, 46 patients died during hospitalisation. The highest frequencies of death, according to the admission cause, were respiratory problems (18 out 46) and end-of-life care (11 out 46). More than half (59%) of admissions lasted less than 7 days and 88% were 15 days or less.
Conclusions: The causes and characteristics of the hospital admissions at a PPCU are heterogeneous, with respiratory problems being the most common cause of admission. The duration of the hospitalisation appears to be similar to that described for acute palliative care units. The creation of a specific PPCU that can refer their patients for hospital admission might help to improve continuity of care.