Morton Plant Mease and The Hospice of the Florida Suncoast Expand Palliative Care Program
CLEARWATER - Patients who experience chronic, debilitating disease or are living with advanced illness often benefit greatly from specialized, compassionate care focused on managing their pain, stress and symptoms.† In a broadening of their partnership, Morton Plant Mease Health Care and The Hospice of the Florida Suncoast have expanded the inpatient palliative care initiative currently offered at Morton Plant Hospital, Clearwater, and made it available at Mease Countryside Hospital, Safety Harbor and Mease Dunedin Hospital.†††
Patients who might benefit from palliative care may not have life-ending illnesses or conditions and may still seek curative treatment.† Like The Hospiceís patients, they need relief from pain and suffering and a means to enhance quality of life, but unlike a hospice patient, may not be at end of life. Outstanding palliative care combines the efforts of board certified palliative care physicians, clergy and social workers in a team working to develop personalized care plans to be followed in conjunction with therapeutic treatment.
Any Morton Plant Mease patient with an advanced illness or one who has been newly diagnosed with a serious or potentially life-ending illness is a candidate for a palliative consult.† The palliative care team strives to see each patient on the same day as the consult is requested so that issues and symptoms may be addressed as soon as possible.† The team recommends treatment or a course of action to the consulting physician and meets with the patientís family to address spiritual and social needs.† When a patient is discharged from the hospital, the coordination of palliative care services will continue in another setting with support from The Hospiceís community-based palliative care services.†
Palliative care consults are designed to help patients lessen feelings of anxiousness about their illness, become better informed and feel more in control of their own lives.† As a result, they may be discharged from the hospital sooner and not need to be readmitted as frequently.† Patients experience greater confidence in the kinds of care they receive and a stronger sense of hope, thus enhancing patient and family satisfaction.†
The Palliative Care program is the second recent partnership effort between Morton Plant Mease and The Hospice of the Florida Suncoast.† In October 2007, the two care providers joined together to make available the first of its kind Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) collaboration in the area.† CPE is interfaith professional education for clergy and involves training student chaplains to better serve the spiritual needs of patients and families served by The Hospice and Morton Plant Mease Hospitals. †
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