New Palliative Care Screening Tools- Is It Helpful For Patients?

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : October 18, 2022

In one of the latest developments, the world has witnessed the invention of a new screening tool. The University of North Carolina has developed the tool. It is helpful to guide palliative care. It has been specifically developed for patients who are very ill. The patients admitted to intensive care units, and surgical intensive care units are the primary beneficiaries of this innovation. 

The attempt tries to focus on enhancing the quality of life on the failure of medical equipment to improve the condition of life. The details of the palliative care model vary from hospital to hospital. It helps the family of the patients to take important decisions concerning providing the provision of palliative care. The invented tool helps identify the utility of this type of care on the patients. Identifying all the patients who would benefit from this treatment makes it easier to provide the best performance. Palliative care screening tools for surgical ICU patients can help ease families’ burdens and facilitate decision-making

What Is The Issue? 

Medical teams and the patient’s family members cannot make a correct decision when the patient is caught in the Jaws of death. It is impossible for them to try yet another kind of palliative care treatment when the medical support system has failed to extend life. At this stage, the screening tool comes into play. 

New Palliative Care Screening Tools- Is It Helpful For Patients

It selectively identifies all the patients referred to this treatment after completing their stay in the intensive surgical unit. It would use the time gap between the discharge from the intensive unit and the subsequent admission into palliative care units. Accordingly, the chances of recovery of the patient increase. It has considerably reduced the burden on the family members of the patients to decide anything amidst such a situation. 

Details of the study

The study has been conducted in Association with Chapel Hill. The researchers of the institution developed a tool. It had some basic questions in the form of yes or no. This answer had to be recorded at the instance of the family members, the doctors, and the nurses in charge of the intensive unit and palliative care physicians. The tool was later upgraded with a plan to study the act method. 

The number of questions had been reduced from 12 to just 3. The first question was about the view of any medical professional on referring a patient to palliative care. The next question concerned the patient’s possibility of death if he was not referred to the palliative care unit. The last question concerns chronic illness and untreatable permanent infections. If any of these questions had been answered in the affirmative, a patient must be referred to palliative care units. A sample of 476 patients identified with the help of these three questions was able to benefit from palliative care units. 

This screening method was useful in terms of time management and quick response. There was practically no increase in the burden on medical professionals. It was just a matter of subjective determination, making it easier for doctors and physicians. It is a matter of ownership of the patient because we provide access to the body. That is why this crucial decision must be made by the medical department and not by the family members who are triggered by emotions at such a stage. 

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The new approach concerning the treatment will help out people to find the best possible cure. Increasing awareness about the utility of this new kind of treatment will try to prevent the patient’s death. It is a useful mechanism to provide the patient with an extended form of life. It is nothing but the extension of the life-supporting system provided by surgical intensive cure units.


🔵National Library Of Medicine (n.d) Enhancing Provider Knowledge and Patient Screening for Palliative Care Needs in Chronic Multi-morbid Patients Receiving Home-based Primary Care (Available On):

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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