A recent JAMA Network report found that ¨implementation of palliative care at a hospital was associated with a 10% reduction in intensive care unit (ICU) use. Meaning implementation of hospital-based palliative care services may be associated with decreased treatment intensity at the end of life for hospitalized patients.¨
The goal of this study was to assess whether the implementation of hospital-based palliative care services is associated with a subsequent decrease in the use of intensive care during terminal hospitalizations.
The study included 51 hospitals in New York State that either did or did not implement a palliative care program between 2008 and 2014. They examined data for 73,370 patients who died during their hospitalizations.
Of the total number of patients included in the study, 51.3 percent received care in hospitals that implemented palliative care services, and 48.7 percent received care in a hospital that did not.
Researchers found that patients who received palliative care services were less likely to be admitted to the ICU than patients admitted to the same hospitals before the palliative care program was implemented.