A Description of Inpatient Palliative Care Actions for Patients With Acute Heart Failure
In a recent randomized trial, inpatient palliative care (PC) visits were associated with improved quality of life and symptom burden for patients with heart failure. To better understand what actions by PC providers may have led to those outcomes, we conducted chart reviews of 101 patients in the intervention group (who received PC). Palliative care actions are described for all patients and for those with higher symptoms. Orders were written for 24% of patients, most frequently for pain. Recommendations to change current care were made for 40% of patients. At least 1 element of future care planning was documented for 99% of patients. Palliative care for inpatients with HF led to additive actions beyond standard care, especially for pain, and promoted HF-specific goals of care discussions.