A report released by the Center to Advance Palliative Care, in conjunction with the National Palliative Care Research Center (NPCRC), shows promising growth in palliative care services in US hospitals.
The analysis confirmed that hospital-based palliative care teams have doubled since 2000 and now as many as 63 percent of US hospitals (with more than 50 beds) have implemented a palliative care programme—an increase of 138.3 percent since 2000.
While approximately 70 percent of 50-plus bed hospitals in the Northeast, Midwest and West have palliative care services, the prevalence of palliative care in the southern region of the US is well behind with only 51 per cent of hospitals reporting a specific programme.
Commenting on the latest report, director of the non-profit Center to Advance Palliative Care, Diane Meier said:
“Palliative care teams are transforming the care of serious illness in this country because they address the fragmentation of the healthcare system and put control and choice back in the hands of the patient and family,
Hospitals today recognise that palliative care is the key to delivering better quality, coordinated care to our sickest and most vulnerable patients.”
Approximately 90,000,000 Americans are living with serious illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s, stroke and Alzheimer’s. This number is expected to more than double over the next twenty-five years with the aging of baby boomers.