Weissman and Meier listed criteria for performing a palliative care assessment on a patient being admitted to the hospital. The authors are from the Medical College of Wisconsin and Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee.

Patient selection: admission to the hospital


Criteria for selecting a patient for palliative care assessment - both of the following:

(1) The presence of a potentially life-threatening or life-limiting condition.

(2) The presence of primary and secondary condition(s), see below.


Primary conditions:

(1) Not expected to be alive in 12 months ("You would not be surprised if the patient died within 12 months…").

(2) Frequent hospital readmissions.

(3) Admitted for difficulty in controlling moderate to severe symptoms.

(4) Complex care requirements.

(5) Functional deterioration (decline in function, feeding intolerance, unintended weight loss).


Secondary conditions:

(1) Usual residence in a long-term care facility or medical foster home.

(2) Elderly patient with cognitive impairment and an acute episode such as hip fracture.

(3) Incurable cancer that is metastatic or locally advanced.

(4) Require chronic oxygen therapy.

(5) Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

(6) History of enrollment in a hospice program.

(7) Limited social support.

(8) Absence of a advanced care plan.

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