Patient-centered care at the end of life in the ED

In the last few decades, innovation in cancer care and the widespread availability of new therapies has resulted in increased hospitalization and resource utilization and later hospice referrals, adding significant cost to the health care system without improving quality. Although palliative care may improve outcomes, referral to these services is usually late, decreasing the advantages of this holistic approach to the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs of the patient and family at the end of life (EOL). The MD Anderson Cancer Center has initiated interventions in the emergency department (ED) that improve EOL for these patients while saving money.

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