Palliative Care

Making the Right Approach with Palliative Care

The Five Star Palliative Care Program starts with our Chief Medical Director, Dr. Teizu Wolokolie, and moves to our 5 Regional Medical Directors, and the regional teams of Medical Directors, geriatric physicians, specialists and nurse practitioners that support them. Our clinical leaders together offer decades of LTC and geriatric care experience. Some of our clinical leaders are nationally and regionally recognized leaders in hospice and palliative care (PC). It is this team that is available to implement or improve your Palliative Care Program.

Our Palliative Care Approach—The Right Approach

Palliative Care is a multi-disciplined approach to care, with primary clinical focus on relieving pain and providing comfort to the patient in their transition of life. Care teams should be comprised of physicians, nurses, psychologists, social workers, chaplains, nutritionists, rehab specialists, pharmacists, specialists and family members. Secondary is the work of the Palliative Care team to help the patient and family identify their goals and priorities and provide oversight and support through today’s complicated healthcare systems. In this secondary, but also critical role, the Palliative Care team provides support to families (caregivers) to help with their own stresses as well.

Three Primary Tiers of Palliative Care

  • Relieve pain and other burdensome symptoms
  • Educate and consult a patient and their family on their goals and to help them through the complicated health care system
  • Provide support to the caregivers and families who can find themselves in new, stressful situations as well

In addition to providing the above care and support, a strong program affords a community health care cost savings. Five Star Physicians has the expertise to build and implement Palliative Care financial models.

The Clinical and Operational Challenges

While Palliative Care is gaining momentum—it has become a part of our many clinical care discussions and written about in our various journals, and we all agree in principle to its benefits–it continues to be slow to take hold. Even within those hospitals and other communities like our nursing homes that promote their own Palliative Care program do not correctly utilize it. Reasons typically fall into two categories:

  • The hospital/Long Term Care Community did not build the correct processes and procedures to ensure its success and proper utilization
  • The hospital/Long Term Care Community did not (and do not) get all the stakeholders to believe and embrace in the Palliative Care program

Five Star can address and repair both concerns above. A Five Star Palliative Care program really does start with education and mentorship of your caring staff.   It is also served and supported by processes and procedures that need to be discussed and implemented. And finally, what is provided in education, mentorship, processes and procedures needs to be constantly enhanced, managed and adhered to in order for success. Five Star Physicians is excited to discuss your palliative care program needs.

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