Authors: Pouliot K, Weisse CS, Pratt DS, DiSorbo P
Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2017 Mar;34(2):166-172
BACKGROUND: There is a growing need for home-based palliative care services, especially for seriously ill individuals who want to avoid hospitalizations and remain with their regular outside care providers.
AIM: To evaluate the effectiveness of Care Choices, a new in-home palliative care program provided by the Visiting Nurse Services of Northeastern New York and Ellis Medicine's community hospital serving New York's Capital District.
METHODS: This prospective cohort study assessed patient outcomes over the course of 1 year for 123 patients (49 men and 74 women) with serious illnesses who were new enrollees in the program. Quality of life was assessed at baseline and after 1 month on service. Satisfaction with care was measured after 1 and 3 months on service. The number of emergency department visits and inpatient hospitalizations pre- and postenrollment was measured for all enrollees.
RESULTS: Patients were highly satisfied (72.7%-100%) with their initial care and reported greater satisfaction ( P < .05) and stable symptom management over time. Fewer emergency department ( P < .001) and inpatient hospital admissions ( P < .001) occurred among enrollees while on the palliative care service.
CONCLUSION: An in-home palliative care program offered jointly through a visiting nurse service and community hospital may be a successful model for providing quality care that satisfies chronically ill patients' desire to remain at home and avoid hospital admissions.