March 2019 – Many patients in your practice may be interested in a palliative approach to care.
Patients living with a serious or a life-threatening illness may be more interested in the quality of life than quantity of life.
They need our help to match care to their goals. This may include fewer medicines, fewer interventions, fewer medical appointments, and more comfort medication.
A Mini Palliative Care Consult for your practice:
“I’d like to take a moment to talk about something important. Sometimes a patient gets sick suddenly, and I can’t talk to them. I know this is hard to think about, but it will help me take better care of you.”
If your illness got very serious and might take your life, what would be most important for me to know about your wishes?
If you were too sick to speak for yourself, who should help us make decisions?
When you think about your future health, what do you worry about?
“I appreciate your willingness to talk about this. I have more insight into your values now.”
Some patients need help weighing the pros and cons of various treatments, and others need to know what you would recommend. Knowing what is important to patients helps you translate their goals into treatment that makes sense.