Inpatient palliative care consultative services (IPCS) hold great promise to improve care and reduce costs for patients with life-limiting illnesses. However, there is limited experimental evidence available to quantify the effects of IPCS in generalizable, real-world settings. There is even less evidence about which types of services work best for which types of patients and how to ensure timely IPCS delivery. This large, pragmatic trial will assess the effects of default palliative care consultation for seriously ill patients on clinical, patient-centered, and economic outcomes. The trial will use a stepped-wedge, cluster randomized design to be conducted among 11 geographically dispersed hospitals within Ascension Health, the largest non-profit health system in the country.
National Institute on Aging