As a rapid influx of patients overwhelmed health systems during the coronavirus pandemic, palliative nurses played dual roles supporting patients, patient families, and colleagues. Two researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing) are among those detailing the important role palliative care has in responding during the COVID-19 pandemic and in future public health crises.
Redefining the future of health transitions
Meeting the complex health care needs of individuals living with chronic illnesses such as heart failure, diabetes and depression in a person-centered, safe, and efficient manner will be a, if not the, dominant healthcare challenge in the next few decades. Our research agenda focuses on the growing population of chronically ill adults with a specialization on frail, elderly adults and their family caregivers. Members’ implementation of various research methods is now creating a body of knowledge that will directly benefit this vulnerable population.
As of May 2020, nursing home residents account for a staggering one-third of the more than 80,000 deaths due to COVID-19 in the U.S. This pandemic has resulted in unprecedented threats—like reduced access to resources needed to contain and eliminate the spread of the virus—to achieving and sustaining care quality even in the best nursing homes. Active engagement of nursing home leaders in developing solutions responsive to the unprecedented threats to quality standards of care delivery is required.
Nursing research has an important influence on evidence-based health care practice, care delivery, and policy. Two editorials in the journal Research in Nursing & Health, by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing), explore how nursing research has been paramount in dealing with the emerging coronavirus pandemic.
Data show that the number of people with clinically complex health and social needs is growing. Programs designed to support these adults have fallen short and the healthcare system is becoming overtaxed by these “super-utilizers”.