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. 2015 Dec;18(12):998-9.
doi: 10.1089/jpm.2015.0436. Epub 2015 Nov 10.

Impact of Staffing on Access to Palliative Care in U.S. Hospitals

Free PMC article

Impact of Staffing on Access to Palliative Care in U.S. Hospitals

Tamara Dumanovsky et al. J Palliat Med. .
Free PMC article


Background: Over the past decade over two-thirds of U.S. hospitals have established palliative care programs. National data on palliative care program staffing and its association with operational outcomes are limited.

Objective: The objective of this report is to examine the impact of palliative care program staffing on access to palliative care in U.S. hospitals.

Methods: Data from the National Palliative Care Registry™ for 2014 were used to calculate staffing levels, palliative care service penetration, and time to initial palliative care consultation for 398 palliative care programs operating across 482 U.S. hospitals.

Results: Hospital-based palliative care programs reported an average service penetration of 4.4%. Higher staffing levels were associated with higher service penetration; higher service penetration was associated with shorter time to initial palliative care consultation.

Discussion: This report demonstrates that operational effectiveness, as measured by staffing and palliative care service penetration, is associated with shorter time to palliative care consultation.


<b>FIG. 1.</b>
FIG. 1.
Programs with higher palliative care service penetration report shorter time to initial consult.

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