Performance of Consultative Palliative Care Model in Achieving Quality Metrics in the ICU.
CONTEXT: Quality metrics for intensive care unit (ICU)-based palliative care have been proposed, but it is unknown how consultative palliative care can contribute to performance on these measures. OBJECTIVES: Assess adherence to proposed quality metrics of ICU-based palliative care by palliative care specialists. METHODS: Surrogates for 9/14 patient-level quality metrics were assessed in all patients who received an initial palliative care specialist consult while in an ICU from 10/26/2012 to 1/16/2015 in the Global Palliative Care Quality Alliance, a nationwide palliative care quality registry. RESULTS: Two hundred fifty-four patients received an initial palliative care consultation in an ICU setting. Mean (SD) age was 67.5 (17.3) years, 52% were female. The most common reasons for consultation were symptom management (33%) and end-of-life transition (24%). Adherence to ICU quality metrics for palliative care was variable: clinicians documented presence or absence of advance directives in 36% of encounters, assessed pain in 52.0%, dyspnea in 50.8%, spiritual support in 62%, and reported an intervention for pain in 100% of patients with documented moderate to severe intensity pain. CONCLUSION: Palliative care consultations in an ICU setting are characterized by variable adherence to candidate ICU palliative care quality metrics. Although symptom management was the most common reason for palliative care consultation, consultants infrequently documented symptom assessments. Palliative care consultants performed better in offering spiritual support and managing documented symptoms. These results highlight specific competencies of consultative palliative care that should be complimented by ICU teams to ensure high-quality comprehensive care for the critically ill.
Wysham, NG; Hochman, MJ; Wolf, SP; Cox, CE; Kamal, AH
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