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Supportive Medicine Program

Our Current Healthcare System

Supportive MedicineThe time demands on healthcare providers frequently impair their ability to provide adequate communication, care coordination and management of complex patient/family dynamics.

Patients/families frequently report dissatisfaction associated with:

  • Lack of care coordination
  • Lack of support/resources offered by healthcare provider
  • Lack of understanding regarding disease and management plan
  • Lack of attention to symptom and pain management associated with disease or treatment regimen

Supportive Medicine

Supportive Medicine, also known as Palliative Care, is a medical discipline focused on mitigating gaps in patient care and support.

The Supportive Medicine Team is a physician-led, interdisciplinary care team focused on improving quality of care delivery for patients with serious and life-threatening illnesses by providing an extra layer of support.

Care is focused on providing patients with relief from symptoms, pain and stress associated with their illness, whatever the diagnosis. The goal of care is to improve quality of life for both patients and families.

The Supportive Medicine Team includes:

  • Physicians
  •  Nurse practitioners
  •  Registered nurses
  •  Chaplains
  •  Social workers
  •  Counselors

Pain Control Before and After Supportive Medicine Consult

Supportive Medicine Chart 1

Preliminary findings from a patient/family satisfaction survey show that patients experienced a significant improvement in pain control after receiving consultative services from a Supportive Medicine physician. (n=32 survey respondents).

Patient/Family Satisfaction Survey

Supportive Medicine Chart 2
Supportive Medicine Chart 3

Preliminary findings from a patient/family satisfaction survey show that 91% of respondents would recommend Supportive Medicine services to other patients/families facing a serious illness. In addition, 77% of patients indicated they would have preferred to have the Supportive Medicine Team involved in their care earlier. (n = 32 survey respondents)

Program Goals

  • Improved management of patient’s symptoms, pain and stress associated with illness
  • Improved coordination and communication of care plan with all stakeholders
  • Improved patient/family satisfaction and comprehension with information provided by caregivers
  • Improved medical team’s knowledge and understanding of what Supportive Medicine offers regarding symptom and pain management
  • Reduced unnecessary emergency room visits and hospital admissions
  • Reduced duration of hospital stays

Awards and Recognitions

The Supportive Medicine Clinical Practice Committee was honored with the 2013 Memorial Hermann Physician Network Impact Award for implementation of systemwide Supportive Medicine Program.