Palliative Care Network Alaska

Palliative Care in Alaska

Palliative Care





palliative care alaska
The goal of the Palliative Care Alaska Network (PCAN) is to advocate for high-quality care and grow a network within Alaska dedicated to advancing palliative care services.

Palliative Care is more than hospice care or for those at end of life; Palliative care is about living well with a life-limiting illness or condition.

Palliative care supports a patient and their family throughout serious illness, whether the prognosis is curative, chronic or terminal. The goal is to improve patients’ overall quality of life by alleviating symptoms and stress of illness. It is a complimentary treatment plan that includes a team of doctors, nurses, social workers, physical/occupational therapist, religious/spiritual chaplains, and other specialists. Palliative care works alongside a patient’s primary medical team or village clinic, while keeping the person and their family at the center of the care with as much participation as they choose. Palliative care is supportive care that is appropriate for all ages, at any stage of chronic or serious illness, and is provided in both inpatient or outpatient setting.

Learn more about palliative care:

How Does Palliative Care Support Patients and Families?

Studies show that palliative care significantly improves patients’ quality of life and lowers symptom burden. With the focus on the patient and family, this improved quality of life also means that seeking treatment within the health care system can be less stressful and traumatic for families. Due to the advances in modern medicine and technology, people are living longer with serious and complex illnesses. Today’s fragmented health care system makes it challenging to effectively treat people with these illnesses. Palliative care gives people the ability to make the best choice for themselves and their families, including staying in their own home or their community, if desired.

A new approach to health care is called for; a treatment design that addresses more than just a patient’s diagnosis. Palliative care offers that paradigm shift. It uses an interdisciplinary approach, with a focus on patient and family-centered outcomes. This shift to quality of life includes physical, emotional, and spiritual health as well as helping the caregiver and preventing burnout. Palliative care emphasizes communication and continuity of care to better treat and care for the episodic and long-term nature of serious, multi-faceted illnesses.

The goal of Palliative Care Alaska Network is to advocate for high-quality, patient-focused care in all Alaskan communities. Our role is to grow a network within Alaska to continue to advocate for palliative care services for all, and to contribute the efforts currently under way.

palliative care alaska network
How Does Palliative Care Impact the Healthcare Team?
Palliative Care Alaska Network

Palliative care is not just for the patient and families. Healthcare teams report greater satisfaction in their work by providing comprehensive care for patients and their families suffering from serious or chronic illness. As a team, palliative care supports hospital, community and family caregivers by creating a coordinated quality of life plan that supports the patients goals.

High Healthcare Costs
Palliative Care Alaska Network

How does Palliative Care Impact High Healthcare Costs?

Palliative care increases patient and family satisfaction, improves quality, and minimizes burden to the health care system. While focused on the patient and family, palliative care impacts the entire system. When palliative care is utilized in outpatient and inpatient settings, there is a decrease in hospital readmission rates, intensive care unit utilization, emergency room visits, and hospital length of stay.

Palliative care focuses on the highest need and highest cost patient segment; those that are chronically or seriously ill. This approach is relevant as an essential strategy for population health management.

Palliative care teams working in hospitals:

•Improve patient and family satisfaction with care
•Reduce 30-day readmission rates
•Reduce ICU utilization
•Can save 9-25% of costs for each inpatient stay through a mixture of shorter length of stay and reduced cost per day.

Palliative care teams working in home-based programs:
Demonstrate cost savings as much as $12,000 per person enrolled in ACOs, health plans, and health care systems.
Reduce emergency department visits, hospital admissions, hospital readmissions, and hospital length of stay.

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Palliative Care Alaska Network

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