Clinical Services, Englewood Health Physician Network, Inpatient Care

Palliative Care at Englewood Health: Why, When, and How

Here at Englewood Health, we are committed to increasing the delivery of palliative care services for our patients and families dealing with serious, chronic, and life-limiting illness. We have a dedicated multidisciplinary team of palliative care specialists focused on managing symptoms and improving the quality of life.

When

The field of palliative care medicine has advanced dramatically in the last decade. Long gone are the days when palliative care is considered the equivalent of hospice care. Many patients can benefit from palliative care medicine months or years before they are near the end of life. Consider palliative care for any of your patients with:

  • Advanced chronic illness such as cancer, COPD, CHF, ESRD, neurodegenerative disease or liver disease
  • Difficult to control physical and/or psychological symptoms related to a serious medical condition
  • More than one admission within 30 days secondary to a serious illness
  • Needs including discussions about advanced care planning and/or filling out POLST
  • Consideration of tube feeding or TPN in cognitively impaired or seriously ill patients
  • Prolonged hospital stay secondary to multiple comorbidities
  • Complex pain conditions

Why

The patient-centered approach of palliative care medicine accounts for the specialized and often challenging needs of patients and families dealing with serious illness and can improve patient/physician communication. Palliative care focuses on providing relief from the symptoms, pain, and anxiety of serious illness rather than curing the disease. Evidence has shown that in patients with chronic illness involving palliative care strategies improves the quality of life, decrease hospital admissions, and in some circumstances can actually extend life.

Documentation of palliative care:
Clear documentation that you have either recommended or involved palliative care services is critical. Please note that when appropriate you should document these discussions even if your patients are not yet ready to accept palliative care services. In addition to making sure other members of the care team understand the treatment plan and goals of care, this documentation is also critical as an indicator of severity of illness and directly impacts our published quality scores. The following examples are coded as palliative care:

  1. Palliative care involved for chronic disease management.
  2.  Patient with serious or lilife-limitinghronic disease, receiving palliative care to improve their quality of life.
  3. Comfort care/comfort measures.
  4. Hospice care.
  5. DNR.

How

Excellent palliative care services are provided by many of our physicians, advanced practice providers, and nurses on a daily basis. We also now have a highly specialized palliative medicine team who, in collaboration with the patient’s other providers, develop individualized treatment plans focused on improving quality of life and decreasing symptom burden.

  • Hospital Palliative Consult (in-hospital 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., available by phone 24/7): call 201-894-8039 or 201-894-3896.
  • Outpatient Palliative Consult (3 East Medical Suites or Cancer Center): Call 201-894-3690 to make an appointment.

Meet Your Palliative Care Team

Vinnidhy Dave, DOVinnidhy Dave, DO is the Director of Palliative Medicine has come back from HSS where he focused on treating chronic and post-op pain. He completed his fellowship at MSKCC and is board certified in Palliative Medicine. He is passionate about developing the inpatient and outpatient Palliative Center at Englewood Health with an interest in cancer pain.

Daniel Wilkin, DODaniel Wilkin, DO is board certified in hospice and palliative medicine and licensed Certified Medical Director who presently serves in this role in area nursing homes and rehabilitation centers. He is will see inpatient and outpatient consultations and is currently helping grow outpatient palliative medicine.

Cynthia Mulder, NPCynthia Knorr-Mulder MSN, NP has been with Englewood for the past 12 years assisting in the development of the Pain & Palliative Program as Administrative Director and has over 20-years of experience compassionately caring for pain and palliative patients.

Mae Fuchs, NPMae Bell Fuchs, NP is a board certified in adult and geriatric acute care with certification in Critical Care. Prior to coming to Englewood she worked in post-operative pain management. She provides holistic care to inpatients with chronic progressive diseases with compassion and caring that leaves a lasting impact.

Sandra Trainor, RNSandra Trainor, RN is certified in both Pain and Palliative Nursing Care. She can be found at the bedside facilitating patient and family education, developing a nursing plan of care, monitoring patient’s outcomes, practicing humanistic nursing care and serving as an advocate for pain and palliative patients.