Screening Tool Can Streamline Palliative Care Consults in the ICU

Standardized method may speed up consultations by as much as six days
Screening Tool Can Streamline Palliative Care Consults in the ICU
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

WEDNESDAY, April 3, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Integrating a simple screening tool upon intensive care unit (ICU) admission can streamline requests for palliative care consultations, according to a study published online April 1 in Critical Care Nurse.

Traci N. Phillips, D.N.P., from Mercy Health Anderson Hospital in Cincinnati, and colleagues created a palliative care screening tool with clinical indicators for nurses to use upon patient admission to the ICU. The analysis included 267 patients.

The researchers reported that 22 percent of patients had positive screening tool results compared with 11.6 percent identified with the traditional consultative method. Patients identified for referral without use of the screening tool were hospitalized a mean of six days until the consultation was requested.

"The screening tool was designed to be completed on admission by the nursing staff and provides the ability to directly refer patients with positive screening tool results for formal palliative care consultation," the authors write. "Providing the ICU staff the autonomy to consult palliative care services by using an evidence-based tool can improve the efficiency of appropriate consultations while providing opportunities for advance care planning discussions and increasing patient access to palliative care services before discharge."

Abstract/Full Text

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