Using palliative care nurses in a supportive care program to reduce hospital utilization for patients with multiple chronic conditions
Allen A, Frederick L, Hovey SL. Using Palliative Care Nurses in a Supportive Care Program to Reduce Hospital Utilization for Patients With Multiple Chronic Conditions. J Nurs Care Qual. 2021;36(1):79-83. doi:10.1097/NCQ.0000000000000482
BACKGROUND: Health care organizations are designing comprehensive care programs to reduce hospital utilization by high-risk patients with multiple chronic illnesses.
LOCAL PROBLEM: A community hospital recognized patients with multiple chronic conditions had higher rates of inpatient stays and emergency department (ED) visits.
METHODS: Patients (n = 36) with multiple chronic conditions enrolled in a supportive care program. Researchers analyzed hospital utilization, inpatient stays, and ED visits preintervention and postgraduation for the participants enrolled. Palliative care nurses were assigned to patients enrolled in the supportive care program.
RESULTS: There was a statistically significant decrease in hospital utilization (Z = -2.540, P = .011) and inpatient stays (Z = -4.037, P < .001) following the implementation of the supportive care program.
CONCLUSIONS: The study met its aim of reducing hospital utilization and inpatient stays by creating a comprehensive approach to support high-risk patients in self-management of their chronic illnesses.