The development of a palliative care program
Jan Didich, RN, BSN, MA
James K. Weick, MDAddress reprint requests to J.K.W., Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, One Clinic Center, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44195.
Palliative care, which neither hastens death nor prolongs life, provides comfort through the final stages of life. The focus is on comfort for the patient and quality of life for both patient and family. A three-month pilot project used the team approach, involving a physician, nurse, and social worker, to assess how the palliative care needs of the terminal cancer patient were being met at the Cleveland Clinic. Data are presented to demonstrate that such needs exist and are not currently being met by existing services, as perceived by the patient population surveyed. During the pilot project, the palliative care team was in compliance with the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals hospice standards.