Improving the Quality of End-Of-Life Care with ELNEC

Improving the Quality of End-Of-Life Care with ELNEC

From diagnosis of a serious illness to the end of life, palliative care is a very family-centered care that optimizes the quality of life by anticipating, preventing and treating suffering. Throughout the continuum of illness, palliative care also addresses the needs of a patient from physical, intellectual, and emotional to social and spiritual. Palliative care is also very patient focused by helping ease medical decision making by giving the patient autonomy, access to information and choice. This “intensive care” also correlates with the patient’s hope and intent of care which result in:

  • Decreased unwanted ICU emergency room admissions
  • Readmission rates
  • Better satisfaction with the patient and their family
  • Improved quality of life for the patient and their family

More than half of the nation’s total healthcare costs stems from patients who are seriously ill, however, these patients make up no more than 10% of the patient population. 2/3 of our total Medicare spending originates from ten percent of Medicare beneficiaries whom also have 5 or more co-morbid conditions or serious illnesses. Out of the national Medicaid budget, seventy-six percent goes to the most expensive setting of care, acute hospitals. Through palliative care the quality of care these patients receive could improve while simultaneously decreasing these expenditures.

With “primary palliative care” being an advanced approach, it is essential to be aware of all the necessary components:

  • Evidence-based management of common types of pain and symptoms
  • Strong communication skills that facilitate difficult discussions around advance care planning, goals of care, and issues of advanced disease
  • Knowledge about hospice and specialty palliative care services, eligibility, and access.

For a registered nurse, it is within their scope of practice to:

  • Advocate for improved pain and symptom management
  • Educate patients and families about their options for quality end-of-life care

How can a large number of nurses get access to this education in a timely, cost-effective manner? The answer is online education with the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) Curricula. Nurses can complete this education:

  • on their own time
  • at their convenience
  • No costly travel and registration fees

Nurses will receive:

  • Basic palliative care knowledge and skill training
  • Continuing education credits
  • Certificate that acknowledges they have been ELNEC- trained

ELNEC has been teaching nurses palliative care since 2001 and has both national and international recognition for its success. Four different curricula are available online to practicing nurses:

  • ELNEC- Critical Care
  • ELNEC- Pediatrics
  • ELNEC- Geriatrics

Click here to preview a palliative care course.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *