Adena Regional Medical Center today officially opened a five-bed, inpatient Palliative Care unit. Service on the unit will offer intensive symptom relief and support measures for patients with life-limiting illnesses.
“The Palliative Care Unit is intended to rapidly treat acute symptoms, and to provide highly effective social service and discharge planning,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Fortney. “The patient’s physical symptoms are addressed by a specially-trained nursing staff; while a multidisciplinary palliative care team addresses the emotional, spiritual, and financial concerns of the patient and their family.”
Serving as a bridge to appropriate services such as home health, hospice, or extended care, the unit is not intended for long term stays. Patients may be transferred to the unit from other inpatient floors, or they may be directly admitted from the Emergency Department, physician clinic or extended care facility. Those with underlying diseases, such as: cancer, cardiac, lung, liver, renal or neurological illnesses are eligible if their plan of care does not include heroic measures such as CPR or life support.
The unit is the culmination of three years of planning, along with the patient care experience of an inpatient palliative care consultation service. In 2013, that consultation service assisted 588 patients, up from 523 the previous year. Of these patients, 353 would have been appropriate for transfer to the Palliative Care Unit.
As part of the unit’s opening celebration, Oncologist Dr. Ralph Roach was recognized for his leadership, passion and perseverance in making the Palliative Care Unit a reality. “I’ve waited for this day for a long time,” said Dr. Roach. “Now patients can come here to get great care in a nice, relaxing environment.”
In his remarks, Dr. Wayne Coats said, “Dr. Roach’s dedication to Adena and the community has helped guide the Adena Cancer Center to where it is today; and he has made the new Palliative Care Unit a reality.”
The Palliative Care Unit is made up of large rooms that can accommodate extended family, and include comfortable furnishings and amenities. In addition, a quiet break room is also available to families, with a refrigerator, microwave and coffee. The Palliative Care Unit was made possible by donations from the Friends of Hospice, through the Adena Health Foundation’s Hospice Fund.