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Oncology, palliative care partnership reduced patients’ lengths of stay, readmission rates

October 22, 2014

Read the Perspective from Jyoti D. Patel, MD

A “co-rounding” partnership between medical oncologists and palliative care specialists on an inpatient oncology ward was associated with shorter hospital lengths of stay and reduced readmission rates, according to results of a retrospective cohort analysis presented at the Palliative Care in Oncology Symposium.

“The concept that cancer care is optimized through the integration of palliative care is one that is increasingly and widely endorsed,” researcher Richard Riedel, MD, associate professor of medicine and medical director of the inpatient solid tumor service at Duke University Medical Center, said during a press conference. “The early integration of palliative care allows one to address quality-of-life issues and symptom management throughout the trajectory of one’s disease course. Current data supports the benefit of palliative care integration in the outpatient realm, as well as part of a consultative service in the hospital-based setting. The benefits of integrating palliative care on an inpatient oncology ward with daily assessments is unknown.”

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