The Palliative Care and Home Hospice Program at Northwestern is one of the pioneer programs in the country. Starting with a home hospice program in 1986 and adding a Palliative Care Consultation service in 1993, the service now sees patients across the NMH continuum of care. The main components of the program include:
- A Palliative Care Consultation Service
- An Inpatient Palliative Care Unit (PCU)
- A Cancer Pain Clinic (for patients with severe malignant pain)
- A Home Hospice Program, serving Cook County and caring for a census of 80 patients, mostly at home
The inpatient consult service consists of an attending, rotating palliative care or oncology fellows, residents, and students. We see patients throughout NMH – from the ED, to Feinberg, to Prentice Women’s Hospital. We are happy to assist in the evaluation and management of any or all of the following issues:
- Pain and symptom management (e.g., dyspnea, nausea) for patients facing serious, life-limiting illnesses
- Clarification of goals of care
- Transitions in care to comfort-focused therapies
- Intensive comfort care for patients being withdrawn from life-sustaining therapies
- Pain management in patients with complex chronic pain histories
Palliative Care Unit
The PCU team consists of an attending physician, a nurse practitioner, and sometimes a palliative care fellow and medical student. If there are beds available, the goals of care are focused on symptom management, and the transfer is deemed appropriate by the consult service or PCU team, patients can be transferred from anywhere in Feinberg or Prentice. Indications for PCU transfer include:
- Need for aggressive symptom management
- Intensive comfort care for patients in the terminal phase of their illness
- Patients requiring palliative care while awaiting discharge to home or another facility with hospice
Call the Palliative Care Consult Team to discuss any patient you feel may benefit from the PCU.
NMH Home Hospice Program
The Home Hospice Program will help care for patients within Cook County, either at home or in another facility. To inquire about eligibility or to set up services for a patient, call 312-926-4600 to discuss the case with one of our nurse liaisons.
Interested in learning more about Palliative Care?