I forget…what did that email say? oh yeah, its at

Palliative Care Unit Admits

Hi Everyone,

There are a few horror stories floating around (I personally have a couple) concerning attempts to get hospice patients admitted from the ED to the PCU.

In an attempt to improve the ED to PCU transition for hospice patients, the palliative care dept. has formalized what the work-flow should look like for these patients. The 1st part of the document addresses what you should do when a patient already enrolled in hospice presents to the ED (and will need admission).

Important point: you should be making 2 phone calls – to the hospice nurse (for VNS pts, 212-609-1900) and to the palliative care pager, 917-632-6906.

Furthermore, for dying patients in the ED not previously enrolled in hospice but who you think should be admitted to the PCU under the care of hospice (meaning their prognosis is limited to days-weeks and the goals are to prioritize comfort), the steps are essentially the same, for you. 2 calls: VNS hospice and the palliative care pager. Of note, as of 1 week ago there is now a VNS hospice nurse on the weekends available for these admissions.

The process of getting patients to the PCU can be complicated, particularly during off hours, but you should NOT be the ones to manage it. You’re busy enough! Outsource this to the palliative care team and defer all questions and concerns from bed board, nursing, etc. to them.

Direct ED to PCU Admits

Thanks and let me know if there are any issues moving forward.


Written by phil

March 10th, 2014 at 5:24 pm

Posted in Palliative Care

Leave a Reply