ASCO 15 – Early palliative care in an inpatient oncology setting improved outcomes and satisfaction

Sadly, I am not actually AT ASCO, the annual meeting of the American Society for Clinical Oncology which is taking place in Chicago this year.

However thanks to the modern day marvels of social media I was able to watch this lecture  by Dr Riedel and a team at Duke University Medical Centre.

Dr Riedel introduced  a model where palliative physicians ( “palliatricians”. What do you think? I love a neologism, myself….) co-rounded with the oncologists in the inpatient oncology unit.

Statistically significant reductions in length of stay (LOS), 7 and 30 day readmissions, and ICU admissions were demonstrated. Nurse and doctor satisfaction was increased. Nurses felt the quality of care was improved.

All the medical oncologists surveyed felt that the palliatricians added to the care of the patient and that they learned some stuff about symptom management. I know I learn heaps when I round with medical oncologists! Communication and collaboration was improved.

It was a shame they didn’t look at patient satisfaction, but hopefully that might happen in future.

Seen anything interesting coming out of ASCO this year?

Sonia

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