Pediatric Palliative Care:
Starting a Hospital-Based Program
The value of palliative care in pediatrics has received significant attention over
the past 10 years. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Institute of
Medicine published recommendations involving children who have a life-limiting
diagnosis in a palliative care program early in their disease process. Palliative
care is intended to assure an emphasis on quality of life in addition to the current
medical treatment, which may be focused on cure, symptom management,
and/or end-of-life care. This article describes one hospital's experience in planning,
implementing, and managing a pediatric palliative care program.
Implementing a hospital-based palliative care program in a children's hospital
can be accomplished through careful planning and analysis of need. Writing an
official business plan formalized the request for organizational support for this
program, including the mission and vision, plans for how services would be provided,
expected financial implications, and initial plans for evaluation of success.