Epic Helps Organizations Make Decisions for Palliative Care

Screening questions help respect patients’ wishes and improve quality of life


“How often does the patient visit the ER?” and “Would you be surprised if the patient died within the next 12 months?” are just two of the questions providers at UC San Francisco Medical Center consider when a patient arrives at the ED. The questions are part of a tool known as P-CaRES (Palliative Care and Rapid Emergency Screening), which appears in Epic as part of UCSF’s emergency workflows.

P-CaRES helps providers decide whether the patient might benefit from a referral to a palliative care specialist and makes it more likely that patients can explore their options and express their wishes outside of the “pedal to the metal” environment of the ED. UCSF’s approach can especially benefit older patients, whose limited mobility can lead to increased 911 calls and ED visits, and can help providers get to the root of what a patient needs to enjoy a good quality of life.

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