Seeking palliative care for a family member or loved one with a serious illness can be a difficult responsibility. However, the New York-based Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) is looking to make this process easier by introducing its “expanded” online Palliative Care Provider Directory.
Palliative care is a specialized form of medical care for people with serious illnesses, both short- and long-term. The goal of the care model, which can be provided in conjunction with curative treatment, is to improve quality of life, for both the patient and the family.
The directory connects consumers to palliative care providers that deliver care in their specified area. The website compiles a variety of providers, both from in-hospital and community-based settings.
The palliative care sector has seen steady growth in recent years, particularly as health systems continue to realize the value of the offering, and as they work on improving access and increasing awareness of the service within the home setting.
Because of this, the new functionalities of the Palliative Care Provider Directory enable users to search for providers based on “enhanced location features” where users can filter by four different care settings: hospital, home, nursing home and office/clinic.
Palliative care providers can become listed on the directory, which is free and open to all palliative care programs, by participating in the CAPC’s Mapping Community Palliative Care in the Community project, or by participating in the in the National Palliative Care Registry.
Currently, the registry has compiled a total of 1,144 palliative care programs nationwide in 1,337 care settings.
The offering provides an alternative to other similar search engines, including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid’s (CMS) Hospice Compare site, which recently encountered technical issues with its location search function.
Overall, the directory helps connect patients with serious illnesses, and their families, with palliative care providers during a particularly challenging and stressful time, according to Diane E. Meier, MD, director of CAPC.
“Finding these services needs to be easy and convenient, not only for patients and families but also for their medical teams,” Meier said in a press release. “Fortunately for patients and their families, palliative care supports are increasingly available, not only in hospitals, but also in office practices, home care programs and in nursing facilities. Our palliative care provider directory makes it easy to find help locally, in your neighborhood.”
Written by Carlo Calma