Most Americans would like the end of their life to be marked by loving care at their place of residence. The goal of this project is to improve quality of life and satisfaction with end-of-life care received by residents of skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and reduce unnecessary and unwanted acute care transfers.
Palliative care services can support SNF staff members in offering high-quality and compassionate end-of-life care. Palliative care differs from hospice care although both are covered by Medicare.
Despite its apparent benefit , recent studies have found that many who could benefit are not offered palliative care services and almost half of SNF residents lack documented advance directives. If a resident without an advanced directive suffers a worsening of their clinical condition a cascade of care intensification can be triggered which can lead to unwanted emergency room visits and admissions to the hospital which can then trigger unintended consequences such as delirium, falls and other iatrogenic complications.
The goal of this project is to promote the appropriate use of palliative care services. Alliant Quality will, in partnership with professional organizations, SNFs and palliative care organizations, develop educational materials and training sessions customized for SNF staff about palliative care and its beneficial role for residents in long term care. This educational offering will be pilot-tested in central North Carolina and in southeast Georgia with interested SNFs.
SNFs who join this project will have the opportunity to:
- Receive free training programs designed to improve their SNF staff competency and knowledge related to end-of-life care
- Join a learning network of learners and experts on palliative care in the SNF setting
- Partner with palliative care providers in order to improve the quality of life of their residents
- Implement low-burden measurement strategies that monitor resident and family satisfaction with end-of-life care, rates of avoidable acute care transfers and hospital admission and readmission rates
Palliative Care Toolkit
This toolkit was developed from a two year Special Innovation Project funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).The project focused on implementing palliative care in the skilled nursing facility. There were four aims of the project.
- Improving SNF staff competency and knowledge related to end-of-life care through direct education, experience and participation in learning collaborative.
- Promoting the appropriate use of palliative care in order to improve quality of life.
- Improving resident and family satisfaction with the care provided at end of life.
- Reducing avoidable acute care transfers, admissions and readmission of residents.
Pallative Care Newsletters
Jennifer Judson RN, BSN - Project Lead, Palliative Care