Saint Alphonsus Palliative Care is specialized medical care for people in the hospital with serious illness. The primary focus is to relieve symptoms, pain, suffering and stress of a serious illness—whatever the diagnosis. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.
Using a patient centered approach to medical care, the Palliative Care team works with the patient’s physician to provide an extra layer of support that coordinates and facilitates communication among patients, families, physicians and others involved in care.
Unlike hospice care, which cares for patients who usually have a limited life expectancy, Palliative Care is appropriate at any age and any stage of a serious illness. It may take place over an extended period of time and can be provided while the patient receives active treatment.
The Palliative Care Service at Saint Alphonsus Boise is available for seriously ill patients with unpredictable prognosis during acute hospitalization. The interdisciplinary team includes a physician, nurses, social worker and chaplain who ensure that care is focused on the unique needs and desires of the patient.
What Does Palliative Care Focus on & Provide?
- Focuses on the individual needs of patients with serious illness who have been admitted to the hospital for treatment of severe and complex problems.
- Offers a team approach to identify and support physical, spiritual, emotional, educational and social needs.
- Ensures patients are informed, enabled and empowered to make choices that provide quality of life within the limitations of their illness.
- Provides continuity of care and accessibility within healthcare systems and among health care providers.
- Communicates with a patient’s doctor to establish a plan of care and manage symptoms, as needed.
- Provides advocacy for patient concerns during illness.
- Coordinates resources that assist with optimal care, medical decision making and discharge needs.
- May bring a sense of comfort and relief to the patient and family who are stressed and suffering.
Palliative Care may be Helpful if…
- A new diagnosis or injury threatens to alter the quality of life.
- Standard disease treatments are no longer beneficial.
- Alternate treatment options are not available.
- Patient and/or family are experiencing physical, psychological, emotional or spiritual distress.
- Distressing symptoms have been resistant to standard treatment.
- Ongoing discussions between patient, family, and/or medical provider have not clarified the goals of care.
- Family distress is evident in accepting and/or understanding prognosis or goals of care.
- Complex, chronic and/or terminal illness is causing suffering.
- Difficult decisions must be made.
For more information about Palliative Care or to reach the on-call provider, call 208-367-4096.