New study reveals growth

Hospital-based palliative care programs that focus on patient comfort rather than simply medical treatment are growing rapidly. And for patients, their families, and hospitals themselves, that is a very good thing.

A new study by the National Palliative Care Research Center finds the number of these important new programs has grown from 600 to more than 1500 over the past decade. Of the nation’s 2,500 hospitals with at least 50 beds, more than 60 percent now offer palliative care. These teams, which may include a specially-trained physician, a nurse, social worker, chaplain, and pharmacist, work closely with patients and their families to help coordinate what are often complex medical, spiritual, and social needs.

It’s great to see figures like these, quoted from a Forbes.com article. The efforts to inform and educate the public, government and medical professionals about the many benefits of palliative care have paid off, and as these programs expand and the benefits become more obvious, hopefully even more will be convinced.

Fact is, palliative care has been proven to greatly reduce the pain and stress associated with traditional medicine, while still allowing patients to reap the benefits of procedures, a combination that works out well for everyone involved.