16 Dec

Support Care

 Support Care

A palliative clinical service
Hospital consultative service

Offered by The Connecticut Palliative Physicians Group ® of The Connecticut Hospice, Inc.

Orig.: 5/2005
Revised: 12/2016
Executive Summary

Definition of Palliative Care:

Palliative care is interdisciplinary care aimed at improving the quality of life for patients with life threatening illnesses. Pain control and practical support for patients and families is integrated along with all other medical treatments. Hospital based palliative care programs typically involve medical and nursing specialists, social workers, clergy, and a variety of other paraprofessionals integrated into a coordinated team within a consult service or an outpatient clinic.

Goals: The Connecticut Palliative Physicians Group® proposes to provide an inpatient and home care palliative care consultative service.

Advantages of Hospital based palliative care programs are numerous and include:

Better clinical outcomes
Improved patient satisfaction
Increased efficiency
Improved staff retention

The Connecticut Palliative Physicians Group®

CPPG is a Physician Medical Group consisting of active staff members of the Department of Medicine at The Connecticut Hospice, Inc.

The Mission Statement of CPPG is:

To provide evidence-based palliative medical treatment

To provide treatment that ensures comfort and avoids overwhelming symptoms

To provide continuity, coordination and comprehensive care

To provide advance care planning so that complications are anticipated and optimum treatment is readily available and emergency efforts minimized

To customize care to the patient and family goals and expectations

To thoughtfully utilize patient and family resources

CPPG members include:

Joseph Sacco, MD, HPM, Medical Director
Myra Skluth, MD, HPM
Lisa Rome, MD, HPM
Geraldine Fabregas, MD, HPM
Anthony Coscia, MD
Maureen Dana, MD

 Operational Plan

  1. SupportCare Clinic

Six physicians are available from The Connecticut Palliative Physicians Group.®

All ambulatory oncology clinical patients referred by their oncologists will be eligible to be seen. The SupportCare team will consist of the primary oncologist, a palliative physician specialist, palliative nurse specialist, social worker and other paraprofessionals as deemed appropriate on an individual basis including a spiritual counselor, art therapist, and/or a bereavement counselor. CPPG will provide the palliative physician specialist and/or incorporate existing physician leadership into a coverage scheme. CPPG can provide a dedicated social worker as well as any additional paraprofessional support. Teaching roles assumed by palliative physicians will include case centered didactic discussions with members of the SupportCare team as well as ongoing training of team members. Oncology fellows are welcome to rotate through the Support Care Clinic.

Reasons to request a consultation may include:

Pain and symptom management
Counseling/guidance about care options
Assistance in admission to a Connecticut Hospice Service our Hospice/Palliative Hospital, CanSupport Home Care, Hospice Home Care, nursing facility, acute hospital services
Loss, grief and bereavement support
Follow-up for a CanSupport Home Care patient

 SupportCare consultative service

The same core group of professionals will staff the SupportCare consult service. CPPG will offer 24 hour a day, 7 days a week phone coverage for the consultative service. Multidisciplinary rounds with social work, nursing, palliative physician leadership will occur daily. The same criteria for a SupportCare clinic consult will apply to a SupportCare hospital consult with the exception being that patients can be referred from throughout the hospital.

Benefits of SupportCare:

TIME: Assistance with care coordination and time-intensive patient/family communications.

SUPPORT:   Assistance in coordinating the primary physician’s orders, streamline admission to CanSupport, Branford Inpatient Hospital or Home Care

SATISFACTION:   Patients/families who receive palliative care as part of their overall medical treatment have a high level of satisfaction with their physicians, healthcare team and cancer center.

EDUCATION:   Continue on-going palliative education to all staff members of the cancer center mutually agreed upon by Oncology leadership.

RESEARCH:   Allows opportunities for clinical research in palliative care in outpatient and inpatient settings.