Outpatient End of Life Discussions Shorten Hospital Admissions in Gynecologic Oncology Patients.
ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE: The study goal was to determine whether prior outpatient exposure to hospice discussion altered the inpatient course and end-of-life (EOL) care among patients ultimately discharged to hospice. METHODS: Medical records from January 2009 - June 2012 were reviewed and data abstracted under an IRB-approved protocol. Hospice discussions were identified in the last outpatient clinical encounter prior to admission. Kaplan-Meier was used to estimate overall survival (OS) and the log-rank test used to test for differences. RESULTS: There were 89 hospitalizations resulting in discharge to hospice care: 41 women with ovarian (46%), 23 with uterine (29%), 19 with cervical (21.3%), and with 6 vulvar/vaginal (6.7%) cancers. 83 patients (93%) had outpatient clinical encounters prior to admission;18% (15/83) were exposed to a hospice discussion (HD) and 82% (68/83) were not (NHD). Median time from last outpatient encounter was 18 days (range 0 - 371). NHD patients had longer inpatient length of stay (median 7 days vs. 4 days, p=0.008) and were less likely to receive palliative care consults than the HD patients (65% vs. 93%, p=0.03). Median OS for HD patients was 33 days (95% CI 22d - 61d) vs. 60 days (95% CI 49d - 84d) for NHD patients (p=0.01). There were no differences detected based on race, ethnicity, or insurance status. CONCLUSIONS: HD patients had significantly shorter OS suggesting that providers were accurate in identifying patients nearing the EOL. Patients exposed to outpatient hospice discussions had a shorter length of stay and increased utilization of palliative care resources.
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ABSTRACT: Aggressive care interventions at the end of life (ACE) are reported metrics of sub-optimal quality of end of life care that are modifiable by palliative medicine consultation. Our objective was to evaluate the association of inpatient palliative medicine consultation with ACE scores and direct inpatient hospital costs of patients with gynecologic malignancies. A retrospective review of medical records of the past 100 consecutive patients who died from their primary gynecologic malignancies at a single institution was performed. Timely palliative medicine consultation was defined as exposure to inpatient consultation≥30days before death. Metrics utilized to tabulate ACE scores were ICU admission, hospital admission, emergency room visit, death in an acute care setting, chemotherapy at the end of life, and hospice admission <3days. Inpatient direct hospital costs were calculated for the last 30days of life from accounting records. Data were analyzed using Fisher's Exact, Mann-Whitney U, Kaplan-Meier, and Students T testing. 49% of patients had a palliative medicine consultation, 18% had timely consultation. Median ACE score for patients with timely palliative medicine consultation was 0 (range 0-3) versus 2 (range 0-6) p=0.025 for patients with untimely/ no consultation. Median inpatient direct costs for the last 30days of life were lower for patients with timely consultation, $0 (range 0-28,019) versus untimely, $7729 (0-52,720), p=0.01. Timely palliative medicine consultation was associated with lower ACE scores and direct hospital costs. Prospective evaluation is needed to validate the impact of palliative medicine consultation on quality of life and healthcare costs.Gynecologic Oncology 10/2013; 132(1). DOI:10.1016/j.ygyno.2013.10.025 · 3.69 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Objective Determine predictors of inpatient palliative care (PC) consultation and characterize PC referral patterns with respect to recommendations from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Methods Women with a gynecologic malignancy admitted to the gynecologic oncology service 3/2012-8/2012 were identified. Demographic information, disease and treatment details and date of death were abstracted from medical records. Student’s t-test, Fischer’s exact test or χ2- test was used for univariate analysis. Binomial logistic regression was used for multivariate analysis. Results Of 340 patients analyzed, 82 (32%) had PC consultation. Univariate predictors of PC consultation included race, cancer type and stage, recurrent disease, admission frequency, admission for symptom management or malignant bowel obstruction (MBO), discharge to skilled nursing facility (SNF) and number of lines of chemotherapy. On multivariate analysis, significant predictors of PC consultation were recurrent disease (OR 2.4, 95% CI 1.1-5.3), number of admissions (≥ 3, OR 10.9, 95% CI 3.4-34.9), admission for symptom management (OR 19.4, 95% CI 7.5-50.1), discharge to SNF (OR 5, 95% CI 1.9-13.5) and death within 6 months (OR 16.5, 95% CI 6.9-39.5). Of patients considered to meet ASCO guidelines, 53% (63/118) had PC referral. Of patients referred to PC, 51.2% (42/82) died within 6 months of last admission. Conclusions Patients referred to inpatient PC have high disease and symptom burden and poor prognosis. High-risk patients, including those meeting ASCO recommendations, are not captured comprehensively. We continue to use PC referrals primarily for patients near the end of life, rather than utilizing early integration as recommended by ASCO.Gynecologic Oncology 06/2014; 133(2). DOI:10.1016/j.ygyno.2014.02.031 · 3.69 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Objectives We sought to characterize gynecologic oncology fellowship directors' perspectives on (1) inclusion of palliative care (PC) topics in current fellowship curricula, (2) relative importance of PC topics and (3) interest in new PC curricular materials. Methods An electronic survey was distributed to fellowship directors, assessing current teaching of 16 PC topics meeting ABOG/ASCO objectives, relative importance of PC topics and interest in new PC curricular materials. Descriptive and correlative statistics were used. Results Response rate was 63% (29/46). 100% of programs had coverage of some PC topic in didactics in the past year and 48% (14/29) have either a required or elective PC rotation. Only 14% (4/29) have a written PC curriculum. Rates of explicit teaching of PC topics ranged from 36% (fatigue) to 93% (nausea). Four of the top five most important PC topics for fellowship education were communication topics. There was no correlation between topics most frequently taught and those considered most important (rs = 0.11, p = 0.69). All fellowship directors would consider using new PC curricular materials. Educational modalities of greatest interest include example teaching cases and PowerPoint slides. Conclusions Gynecologic oncology fellowship directors prioritize communication topics as the most important PC topics for fellows to learn. There is no correlation between which PC topics are currently being taught and which are considered most important. Interest in new PC curricular materials is high, representing an opportunity for curricular development and dissemination. Future efforts should address identification of optimal methods for teaching communication to gynecologic oncology fellows.Gynecologic Oncology 11/2014; 135(2). DOI:10.1016/j.ygyno.2014.08.016 · 3.69 Impact Factor