Here at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, we want to treat all the troubles associated with illness: the physical problems such as pain and harsh side effects, and emotional concerns, like anxiety, stress, and uncertainty.
Acute palliative care is one service EIRMC offers for patients facing a life-threatening or life-limiting condition with an uncertain prognosis. We hope to prevent and relieve suffering and promote the best possible quality of care for patients and their families.
It can begin any time during an illness and be combined with treatments to prolong life and cure disease.
When to Consider Palliative Care
- A significant illness or injury has resulted in permanent life changes that may affect quality or quantity of life
- Curative therapies are no longer effective and the goals of care are changing
- Difficult symptoms are compromising the ability to continue treatment
- Patients, families or significant others are experiencing emotional distress or loss of hope
- No documentation exists of discussion regarding wishes and treatment preferences
- Patient’s advance directives do not agree with their current treatment plan
- Hospital admissions have been recurrent for treatment of advanced illness
We Can Help
EIRMC’s Care Team is comprised of skilled healthcare professionals who appreciate the unique physical and emotional needs of patients facing life-threatening conditions. We want to help the patient and their family make informed decisions about care.
After a referral from an attending physician is received, a member of the Care Team meets with the patient and family to assess needs and establish patient-centered goals of care. The Care Team then collaborates with the attending physician to develop a plan of care.
We provide compassionate support by:
- Exploring patient goals and wishes
- Clarifying diagnosis, prognosis and treatment options
- Supporting the completion of an advance directive
- Promoting ongoing communication between the physician, patient, family, and multi-disciplinary team
- Providing information and support for families faced with difficult decisions about appropriate care when the patient cannot communicate his or her wishes
- Discussing symptom and pain management
- Addressing psychosocial and spiritual issues that impact patients and their families
- Planning for care after leaving the hospital
Questions to Ask the Patient:
- Who should make healthcare decisions if you are unable?
- Do you want aggressive medical interventions if prognosis is grim?
- If you could decide, what would you want done in such circumstances?
- Do you want to be an organ donor?
- What are your greatest concerns or fears?
Questions to Ask the Healthcare Team:
- What is the diagnosis?
- What is the prognosis?
- What are the treatment options?
- What are the most likely outcomes for each treatment option?
- What are the burdens and benefits of each option?