Timely palliative care improves patient experience

Consumerism in patient experience is here to stay and studies relating to this aspect are showing the way. Healthcare organizations that care to deliver appropriate, timely patient-centered palliative care, improve patient experience and lead to lower hospital costs, as noted by the new research conducted by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Trinity College Dublin.

This study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine, revealed that palliative care can cut hospital costs by $3,237 per patient. But, patient should receive the palliative care within three days of getting admitted to the hospital as per the research.

Past studies conducted show a correlation between palliative care delivery, positive patient experience and lower hospital costs but, they have been inconclusive due to study limitations. This recent study was a meta-analysis of six studies related to hospital costs and palliative care, which confirms that palliative care can indeed improve care quality for patients suffering from serious illness.

Patients suffering from complex illness account for most of the healthcare utilization but, the care is usually poor in quality as noted by the researchers. A major population of older sicker Medicare patients are dying in acute care hospitals and have to go through intense treatment as they are nearing the end of their life.

But, if they receive timely palliative care it would reduce costs and the trouble elderly, seriously ill patients go through. This is true especially for patients with an initial cancer diagnosis.