Palliative Care program is brought into emergency rooms

Some experts say that providing palliative care should be a priority in the emergency room, according to an article in the Washington Post.

According to the article, the Center to Advance Palliative Care is sponsoring an initiative with Quest, to develop online tools and guidelines and identify best practices for emergency room physicians to help them to incorporate palliative care into their practice.

Key components of the initiative include helping physicians improve their communication skills when giving bad news to a patient or relative and incorporating checklists that discuss patient wishes.  The goal of the plan is to educate emergency room staff in palliative care principles.

(Sources: The Advisory Board Daily Briefing, http://advisory.com, July 27, 2011; The Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com, July 25, 2011)