Developing a pediatric palliative care service in a large urban hospital: Challenges, lessons, and successes

Emily S. Edlynn, Sabrina Derrington, Helene Morgan, Jennifer Murray, Beatriz Ornelas, Giovanni Cucchiaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Aim: We report the process of creating a new palliative care service at a large, urban children's hospital. Our aim was to provide a detailed guide to developing an inpatient consultation service, along with reporting on the challenges, lessons, and evaluation. Methods: We examined the hiring process of personnel and marketing strategies, a clinical database facilitated ongoing quality review and identified trends, and a survey project assessed provider satisfaction and how referring physicians used the palliative care service. Results and Conclusion: The pilot phase of service delivery laid the groundwork for a more effective service by creating documentation templates and identifying relevant data to track growth and outcomes. It also allowed time to establish a clear delineation of team members and distinction of roles. The survey of referring physicians proved a useful evaluation starting point, but conclusions could not be generalized because of the low response rate. It may be necessary to reconsider the survey technique and to expand the sample to include patients and families. Future research is needed to measure the financial benefits of a well-staffed inpatient pediatric palliative care service.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)342-348
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of palliative medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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