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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

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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

Abstract

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.

Figures

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

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