Demographic Profile and Utilization Statistics of a Canadian Inpatient Palliative Care Unit Within a Tertiary Care Setting
AbstractCanadian data describing inpatient palliative care unit (PCU) utilization is scarce. This study performed a quality assessment of a 24-bed short-term PCU with 3 months or less life expectancy policy in a tertiary care setting. Exploration included wait time (WT) for admission, length of stay (LOS), and patient demographics. Methods: a retrospective one-year review of patient records was performed. Results: within the year reviewed, 508 referrals were made, of which 242 resulted in admissions (92% malignant diagnoses), while 266 did not (82% malignant). The most common malignancies in both groups were gastrointestinal, lung, and genitourinary. The median WT for admitted patients was 6 days, varying with referral source, such as the same hospital, home, or another hospital (6, 4, and 8.5 days, respectively). The majority of admissions (93%) occurred in 21 days or less. Patient death (52%), admission to another PCU (25%) and declined offer (10%) were common reasons for no admission. The median LOS of 219 admitted patients was 19 days (0-249). Most patients (94%) died in the PCU, while a minority were discharged. Conclusions: many patients requiring PCU services are admitted within a few days of referral, especially those with the least available support – patients at home. However, half of those who do not receive admission die while waiting – an area for potential improvement. LOS was compliant with the 3-month ‘expected lifespan’ PCU policy. Results are significant as ensuring quality of life for palliative patients includes timely PCU access and sufficient LOS to address symptoms and end-of-life needs.
How to Cite
Napolskikh, J., Selby, D., Bennett, M., Chow, E., Harris, K., Sinclair, E., & Myers, J. (1). Demographic Profile and Utilization Statistics of a Canadian Inpatient Palliative Care Unit Within a Tertiary Care Setting. Current Oncology, 16(1), 47-52. https://doi.org/10.3747/co.v16i1.172
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