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Although the number of hospitals with palliative care programmes has increased greatly in recent years, 48% of referrals for these patients came from hospitalists and only 13% came from critical care physicians, a figure far lesser than would be expected.1 Such a gap in palliative care referrals in the intensive care unit (ICU) can be attributed to several factors, including the shortage of palliative care providers, the unrealistic expectation of the physicians for patient prognosis and the timing of the referrals. These factors contribute to excess hospital mortality, inadequate pain management, frequent hospital readmission and extended length of stay in the ICU.2 3 Therefore, a better method for identifying patients needing palliative care should be incorporated into care delivery.
To identify the method of palliative care screening that was more effective in our local ICU, we screened and studied the first 50 patients admitted to this medical facility between …
Contributors OR: conceptualisation, methodology, writing of the original draft, data curation, visualisation; AH: writing of the original draft, data curation, visualisation; AS: methodology, formal analysis, writing of the original draft; PHS and SB: writing of the original draft and data curation; MR, SH: writing (review and editing); PM-F: supervision, project administration, resources and writing (review and editing); DS: supervision, project administration, resources, conceptualisation and writing (review and editing).
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.