Advocacy Alert #3
Generalist Palliative Care—Engaging Hospital Leaders
PCNOW’s mission is to support the growth of palliative care services through education, systems change, and advocacy. Systems change was included in recognition that specialty palliative care teams cannot meet all the palliative care needs of seriously ill patients and their families.
Generalist clinicians, those individuals without special palliative care training or certification, must provide basic services as the next key step toward providing the benefits of palliative care services to all patients and families in need.  The publication of the
Improving Generalist Palliative Care Guidebook is the perfect opportunity to engage your hospital and health system leaders in this discussion.
What is the benefit to a health system of a generalist palliative care initiative? Key metrics that hospitals care about are inpatient mortality, readmissions and patient satisfaction—each of which can be improved through systematic patient identification and proactive work to match a realistic discussion of the illness and patient prognosis with patient goals—a cornerstone of generalist palliative care. 

Here are the steps you can take to engage your hospital leaders:

  1. Download the PowerPoint presentation reviewing the multi-year work at Aurora West Allis Medical Center. 

  2. Make an appointment to meet with your key leaders, such as Chief Medical, Nursing and Quality officers and ask for 30 minutes to discuss generalist palliative care.  Send them the presentation ahead of time and say that you’d like to discuss this at the meeting.

  3. At the meeting, ask:

  • Did you have a chance to review the presentation?

  • What are your thoughts about starting this work at our hospital?

  • Would you be open to forming a planning committee?

  • What key goals would you want to achieve from this initiative?

  • What are your concerns about this approach?

Please contact PCNOW with questions/comments—we would love to hear how your hospital leaders respond to developing a Generalist Palliative Care initiative. 

PCNOW Board of Directors