Building a Community-Based Palliative Care Program
Community-based palliative care is “where it’s at” these days in the world of palliative care … and its not surprising.
Those who deliver supportive services to people with life threatening or chronic, debilitating illnesses know that only a small portion of patients are in the hospital or care facility at any given time. CDC hospital discharge statistics (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) show roughly 35 million people are hospitalized per year, around 10% of the total US population.
A study published by the Rand Corporation (Wu) states some 45% of the American population has at least one chronic disease. That translates to over 130 million people. Those needing supportive care, relief from suffering, and guidance to adjust to life with their disease or to explore their deeper life goals and desires, are increasing in number, but are disbursed in city apartment complexes, rural farms, and homes everywhere.
Community-based palliative care programs are being implemented, often by hospital- or hospice-based palliative care organizations, to serve the needs of the non-admitted clients. But, community-based programs are very different from those in inpatient settings. So the leader tasked with developing a program, even one who has been successful in developing and delivering palliative care inside the walls of an institution, or who interfaces with the community but in different service areas, is faced with an entirely new set of challenges.
Here at the California State University Institute for Palliative Care we take these challenges seriously. As a result we are introducing a new set of courses for those looking to build a strong case for implementing a community-based palliative care program. The courses provide nationally recognized and used resources that can be used at every step on the path to building a community-based palliative care program. The courses are available as a group, or, they can be completed individually for only components that leaders need.
Courses included in the Building a Community-Based Palliative Care Program series progress from an introductory overview of community-based palliative care options and the models considered best practice. The course continuum advances through coursework on conducting a needs assessment, identifying potential partners, defining operational measures and metrics, capturing the data needed, establishing budgets, policies and procedures and billing processes. In addition, the series addresses how to make sure the change “sticks” as well as how to educate and empower patients, caregivers and the health care team to use palliative care. In short, the series – Building a Community-Based Palliative Care Program provides all essentials for successfully implementing a new service.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “FastStats.” 30 Sept 2015. www.cdc.gov. Web Site. 10 Nov 2015.
Wu, S., Green, A. “Projection of Chronic Illness Prevalence and Cost Inflation.” 2000.