Grant Application

Brandon Cicero, Family Hospice & Palliative Care, UPMC Altoona

Proposed Innovation

Patients at the end of life often undergo unnecessary or unwanted transitions of care. They are frequently rushed to the hospital emergency department or readmitted to the hospital where they receive medical treatment that does not align with their care goals.

This project aims to reduce hospital readmission and mortality rates through education and collaboration with patients, families, emergency department and hospice staff. An algorithm built into the hospital’s electronic medical records will help clinicians identify patients who are near the end of life.

Improvements in Action

Through this project, a brief educational video will be created featuring interviews with emergency, hospice, and palliative care doctors. Topics will include how to identify when a patient in the hospital emergency department is near the end of life, what to do, and why it’s important. Real-time alerts will be used to notify staff when a hospice patient arrives in the emergency department. A dedicated concierge will help coordinate and manage end-of-life care for patients in the emergency department.

Intended Outcomes

In addition to reducing overall hospital admission rates and mortality rates, this project also is expected to result in fewer unnecessary emergency department visits and hospitalizations for hospice patients.