Not just for patients with cancer.
The following criteria should be considered as criteria for initiating a palliative care referral:
- Ask yourself, “Would I be surprised if this patient died in the next year?” If the answer is “yes,” then consider a palliative consultation.
- Patients with advancing dementia, end-stage renal failure, end-stage liver failure, congestive heart failure, advanced lung disease, advanced ALS/MS, have palliative needs
- Frequent emergency room visit for the same diagnosis
- Frequent hospital admissions for the same diagnosis in the last 30 days
- Prolonged hospital or ICU stay (7-14 days) without evidence of improvement
- Declining ability to complete activities of daily living
- Difficult to control physical or emotional symptoms
- Patient or family needs help making complex care decisions
- Physician needs support with difficult conversations about prognosis