Development and protocol for a nurse-led telephonic palliative care program

The EMPallA Telephonic Working Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a profound transformation of health care delivery toward telemedicine models. Purpose: We present the structure of a nurse-led telephonic palliative program and operational metrics to influence further development of tele-palliative programs. Methods: The nurses engage with seriously ill patients for 6 months with the goal of discussing advance care planning (ACP) and addressing self-identified issues related to their illness. Findings: Of the first 100 program graduates, 78% were actively engaged and 51% named a health care agent and/or engaged in ACP. Of the 18 patients who died during the study, 13 (72%) were enrolled in hospice services. Discussion: Our preliminary results indicate that seriously ill patients are willing to engage with nurses and to participate with discussions on ACP. Conclusion: Given the gaps in health care exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, this innovative program serves as an important model for bringing palliative care directly to patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)626-631
Number of pages6
JournalNursing outlook
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021


  • End of life care
  • Hospice care
  • Palliative care
  • Program development
  • Telehealth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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