Perspectives in Hospital Medicine

A Model to Improve Hospital-Based Palliative Care: The Palliative Care Redistribution Integrated System Model (PRISM)


Many hospitalized patients have unmet palliative care needs that are exacerbated by gaps in the palliative care subspecialty workforce. Training frontline physicians, including hospitalists, to provide primary palliative care has been proposed as one solution to this problem. However, improving palliative care access requires more than development of the physician workforce. System-level change and interdisciplinary approaches are also needed. Using task shifting as a guiding principle, we propose a new workforce framework (the Palliative care Redistribution Integrated System Model, or PRISM), which utilizes physician and nonphysician providers and resources to their maximum potential. We highlight the central role of hospitalists in this model and provide examples of innovations in screening, workflow, quality, and benchmarking to enable hospitalists to be purveyors of quality palliative care.

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