Palliative Care - Professionals
According to the National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care, palliative care is both a philosophy of care and an organized, highly structured system for delivering care.
Philosophically, palliative care affirms life and views dying as a normal process. The intent is to neither hasten nor postpone death. Palliative care provides relief from pain and symptoms, integrates psychological and spiritual care, uses an interdisciplinary team approach and provides a support system for the "family", as defined by the patient.
Palliative care aims to relieve suffering and improve quality of life for patients with advanced illness and their families and is offered simultaneously with all other appropriate medical treatment to manage the underlying illness from the time of diagnosis. Palliative care deals with the art, science and limits of medicine.
Three key pillars of palliative care include
- Advance Care Planning: a two-step approach
- Community Conversations on Compassionate Care (CCCC): "Five Easy Steps" to complete a health care proxy
- Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST): goals for care as part of MOLST discussion
- Pain Management and symptom management, including shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, etc.
- Caregiver Support
Palliative care focuses on understanding the patient's core values and beliefs to help establish the patient's goals for care that may include longevity, functional preservation or comfort care. These goals for care assist in shared, informed medical decision-making about both routine medical treatments and decisions regarding life-sustaining treatment. Honest, open conversations provide opportunities for personal growth for the patient.
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- Attending health care practitioner must offer to provide information and counseling about palliative care to patients with a terminal condition
- range of options appropriate to the patient
- risks and benefits of various options
- patient's "legal rights to comprehensive pain and symptom management at the end of life"
- Information and counseling can be provided to a person with authority to make health care decisions for the patient if the patient lacks decision making capacity.
(enhanced and special needs) shall
- establish policies and procedures regarding palliative care, including access to information and counseling
- facilitate access to appropriate palliative care consultations and services
The PCAA expands upon the requirements of the Palliative Care Information Act (PCIA).
Key Resources on Palliative Care
- Find a physician and/or program
- Follow national guidelines
- Use effective tools
- Hospice Determination Tool
- Advance Care Planning
- Community Conversations on Compassionate Care
- Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST) for Professionals
- Guidelines for Long-Term Feeding Tube Placement
- Principles of Pain Management (Guidelines for Professionals)
- Caregiver Support
- Think Cultural Health
- A Physician's Practical Guide to Culturally Competent Care
- Choose additional resources for Professionals
- Choose additional resources for Patients & Families
Key Resources on NYS Palliative Care Information Act
- New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH)
- Palliative Care Information Act
- Palliative Care Information Act Introduction
- Summary of the Law
- Guidance for Practitioners
- Resources for Practitioners
- Frequently Asked Questions
- NYSDOH Letter to Physicians
- NYSDOH Letter to Nurse Practitioners
- NYSDOH Letter to Hospitals
- NYSDOH Letter to Nursing Homes
- NYSDOH Diagnostic & Treatment Centers
- Hospice and Palliative Care Association of NYS
- Palliative Care Resources
- Hospice Resources
- Patient and Family PCIA Information Sheet: North Shore-LIJ
- Patient and Family PCIA Information Sheet: Permission to modify for other systems
Key Resources on NYS Palliative Care Access Act
- New York State Department of Health