In today’s health care environment, treatments for diabetes, cancer and other serious illnesses are saving millions of lives each year, helping people to live for many more years with family and friends. But living well after a serious illness or chronic condition involves much more than simply taking the right medications.
The underlying factor for patients living with serious illness is that, in the absence of a cure, people want to live in a way that is meaningful to them. Seriously ill patients want their health care providers to create a care plan that helps them live their best life.
It starts with high quality palliative care.
So what is palliative care?
Palliative care is specialized medical care for people living with a serious illness. It is based on the needs of the patient, not on the patient’s prognosis.
Palliative care teams, composed of physicians, nurses, social workers, and chaplains provide an added layer of support to seriously ill patients of any age, their caregivers and their healthcare providers.
Palliative care training equips a multidisciplinary care team to not only assess and treat the condition, but also support decision making, help match medical treatments to informed patient and family goals, and identify and coordinate resources and services to ensure a seamless care plan across a spectrum of care settings.
Because it focuses on the highest need and highest cost patient segment, palliative care is particularly relevant as an essential strategy for population health management.