About Palliative Care
PQLC aims to advance the interests of patients and families facing serious illness by promoting public policy to improve and expand access to high-quality palliative care.
What Are The Facts About Palliative Care?
By focusing on priorities that matter most to patients and their families, palliative care has been shown to improve quality of care and quality of life during and after treatment. Because their needs are met, patients receiving palliative care avoid crises, spend fewer days in the hospital, ED and ICU, and need fewer re-admissions.
In fact, recent studies have demonstrated that high-quality palliative care not only improves quality of life and patient and family satisfaction, but it can also prolong survival.
Palliative care achieves these outcomes at a lower cost than usual care by helping patients better understand their needs, choose the most effective treatments and avoid unnecessary or unwanted hospitalizations and interventions.
How Can Palliative Care Transform the U.S. Health Care System?
Palliative care holds the potential to transform the U.S. health care system and improve quality of life for the 90 million Americans living today with serious illness–a number that is expected to double in the next 20 years, according to Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care.
Despite enormous expenditures, studies show that patients with serious illness and their families receive poor-quality medical care that is characterized by inadequately treated symptoms, fragmented care, poor communication with healthcare providers, and enormous strains on family members or other caregivers.
What is Palliative Care?
The goal of palliative care is to prevent and relieve suffering and to support the best possible quality of life for patients and their families, regardless of the stage of the disease or the need for other therapies. It focuses on relief of the pain, symptoms, and stress of serious illness and on improving communication with patients and families.
Provided by a team of clinicians and specialists who work with the patient’s regular physicians to provide an extra layer of support, palliative care is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness.
It can be provided wherever a patient is seen and can be provided together with curative treatment.