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Patient preferences critical to providing quality end-of-life care: YNHH chosen as CT site for palliative care pilot program

February 25, 2013

Yale-New Haven Hospital has been designated as the Connecticut pilot site for a Medical Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (MOLST) program by the MOLST statewide advisory committee.

MOLST aims to improve end-of-life care by honoring patient wishes and can also play a part in reducing health care costs by reducing unwanted hospital stays and treatment.

End-of-life discussions are associated with less aggressive medical care near death and earlier hospice referrals, leading to better patient quality of life and better bereavement adjustment in surviving relatives.

However, palliative or end-of-life care is an oft overlooked topic when it comes to healthcare. The difficulty of having these conversations and the lack of physician and provider training on how to conduct them are significant barriers to creating a clear palliative care plan.

While living wills and advanced directives are essential, they do not address certain treatment questions pertinent to end stage medical conditions and are often not accessible at critical clinical decision times.

The MOLST pilot program designated for YNHH is the first step toward addressing these concerns in Connecticut by raising awareness and beginning to train physicians on how to approach end-of-life planning with their patients.

Similar programs and regulations have been established in many states nation-wide.

Submitted by Simone Schneegans on February 26, 2013