Palliative Care: An Extra Layer of Support

By: Administrator,

Palliative care is an evidence-based medical specialty that focuses on the relief of stress, pain and symptoms of serious illness. It gives patients an extra layer of support and can be provided in the hospital, outpatient clinics, skilled nursing facilities, and in the patient’s home. The goal is to improve the quality of life for patients and their caregivers and families.

Palliative care is provided by a team of physicians, advanced practice nurses, nurses, and other specialists, who work alongside the patient’s other providers, delivering treatment concurrent with other disease therapies. Palliative care can be provided at any point in an acute illness or chronic disease.

Advocate Health Care, recognizing that palliative care is a vital component of the health care continuum, has undertaken a systemwide initiative and now provides services in multiple settings, including hospitals (inpatient care), outpatient clinics, skilled nursing facilities and through its home-based program. Palliative care ensures that patients get the right level of care, in the right setting, at the right time, and supports Advocate’s focus on population health management.

Advocate’s Palliative Care Program offers patients and their physicians many benefits, including integration with Advocate’s physicians, outpatient sites, hospitals, Advocate at Home, Advocate Physician Partners, and Advocate’s ACO. Additionally, all palliative care patients receive advance care planning services and benefit from access to the full spectrum of Advocate resources. This assures smooth transitions and handovers from Advocate sites to alternate levels of care, including Advocate Hospice if appropriate.