Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Julianne Ossege

Clinical Mentor

Lynn Goranflo

Committee Member

Dr. Nancy Kloha



Objective: The purpose of this project was to determine if there is a need for a palliative care team (PCT) to which primary care medical professionals can refer patients. The specific objectives of this project were: 1. To assess the knowledge of primary care providers regarding palliative care. 2. To assess the value and need for palliative care from the PCPs’ perspective. 3. To evaluate the current ED utilization data for adults with serious chronic illness.

Methods: This was a descriptive study that involved an analysis of ED visit data for chronic illness, and a survey all PCPs employed at this healthcare system.

Results: Key findings showed that this population of providers were highly knowledgeable of palliative care (PC). The survey questions were answered correctly between 84%- 100% of the time. From this sample of PCPs, 89% felt that PC is needed and would refer their patients to a PCT if it were available. For the ED utilization data, revealed Caucasians and females were the most common users of the ED. Average LOS was approximately 4.45 days and HTN was the most common diagnosis. The admission rate for patients arriving through the ED was 63% (n = 1,524). Medicare was the primary payor for 57% (n = 1,375) of the population with a mean cost per patient of $25,515.84. Total cost for the hospital system from October 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017 was $58,430,933.75.

Conclusion: The evidence provided by this project demonstrates that PCPs have a high knowledge of PC and do find it to be of value for patients. Also, this study substantiates the evidence that patients are having complications from their chronic illnesses that bring them to the ED. These findings support palliative care as a necessary and valued modality of healthcare.