The 100th issue of PC-FACS, an AAHPM signature service, represents a milestone. Celebrating this century issue, Editor-in-Chief Amy Abernethy commented on trends in palliative care since the digest’s inception. Read the 100th issue of PC-FACS.
(1) Increasing acceptance of palliative care as a discipline. The palliative care philosophy now extends into diverse settings including mainstream medicine. Once identified with end-of-life care, palliative care now defines care delivered appropriately throughout complex life-threatening illnesses.
(2) Systematic development of an evidence base, and iterative refinement of a toolbox, for palliative care practice. Research now includes rigorous randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews as well as observational studies, and addresses a wide spectrum of clinical issues and outcomes ranging from quality of life to health service utilization.
(3) Basic science exploration. Complementing clinical studies, basic science can provide insights into, and a biological underpinning for, clinical observations. Bidirectional conversation between basic scientists and clinicians will help develop, evaluate, and refine the next generation of interventions, and continuously improve quality and outcomes.
(4) Examination of quality. Efforts to define quality will allow us to benchmark clinical practice, advance/improve standards, identify effective approaches, and disseminate best practices.