Across the Continuum: How Inpatient Palliative Care Consultations Are Reported in Hospital Discharge Summaries.
J Palliat Med. 2017 Jul 19;:
Authors: Miller N, Shuler J, Hayley D, He J, Porter-Williamson K, Kalender-Rich J
BACKGROUND: Inpatient Palliative Care (PC) consultations help develop a patient-centered and quality-of-life-focused plan of care for patients with serious illness. Discharge summaries (DSs) are an essential tool to maintain continuity of these care plans across multiple locations and providers.
METHODS: We conducted a retrospective chart review of selected DSs of patients who received inpatient PC consultations at the University of Kansas Hospital from July 2011 to May 2015. The study included patients 18 years or older, patients who were discharged alive, and patients who were not discharged with hospice care. Code words and their related phrases, developed by an expert panel of geriatric medicine and palliative medicine physicians, were used to evaluate the DSs. They were categorized into PC, symptom management, hospice and palliative home health, decision making, and plan of care. We also identified whether there was communication between the primary team and PC team, as well as family meeting status in the PC consultation and notes.
RESULTS: Of the 961 chart reviews, no code words were found in 22.8% of the DSs. PC was mentioned in only 63.3% and was the only code word in 5.3%.
CONCLUSION: More than one in five DSs lacked any code words of the completed PC consultation and more than one in three DSs lacked mention of PC. As DSs are the main source of provider communication, it is critical they reflect the key discussion points from the PC consultation, which will improve the transition of care and provider communication.
PMID: 28723252 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]