Exploring end-of-life care in the emergency department
Award: Phoenix Project Fellowship (2015)
Co-Sponsor: Mount Sinai Hospital
- Patient/family/caregiver voices
- Work environments
Anastasia’s personal experiences made her want to better understand how people are cared for in the emergency department when they’re facing the end of their lives. She wanted to observe providers, patients, and caregivers and hear their perspectives. After reflecting upon the process of care, she hoped to share her findings so they might contribute to more humane, compassionate, end-of-life care in the emergency department.
Without major palliative care reform, the emergency department will continue to offer important health services for people at the end of their lives. Sometimes tensions arise because emergency medicine is oriented toward trauma care, acute stabilization, and the prolongation of life, but individuals at the end of their lives often want to improve the quality of their lives rather than receive interventionist or curative care.
Several care paradigms may need to converge in the emergency department to ensure that everyone receives the care they need and deserve.