Capacity building: Integration of palliative care in emergency medicine

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The emergency department (ED) cares for many seriously ill patients, including those with oncologic emergencies. In the seriously ill, ED visits tend to increase as the patient’s status deteriorates and as they approach the end of life. A collaborative approach between oncology, palliative care and emergency care providers has the potential to optimize patient care. This includes aligning patient and family goals with treatment plans and ensuring a smooth transition across care settings. Emergency medicine is increasingly taking a prominent role in integrating palliative care into emergency practice. For most seriously ill patients, their basic palliative care needs such as symptom control will likely be adequately met at the generalist level of palliative care provided by the ED providers. However, some patients with more complex issues and difficult-to-manage symptoms may need specialist level of palliative care delivered by providers with expertise and training in palliative medicine. This chapter outlines the role of ED palliative care in managing oncologic emergencies in the seriously ill patient. Initiatives such as the national Integrating Palliative Care into Emergency Medicine (IPAL-EM) project and other current models of ED palliative care integration are described. Finally, a stepwise approach to jump-start such an integration initiative is outlined for clinicians and administrators of programs that seek to optimize care for the seriously ill ED patient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOncologic Emergency Medicine
Subtitle of host publicationPrinciples and Practice
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9783319263878
ISBN (Print)9783319263854
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


  • Emergency medicine
  • Hospice care
  • Integration
  • Oncologic emergencies
  • Palliative care
  • Palliative medicine

Cite this

Lamba, S. (2016). Capacity building: Integration of palliative care in emergency medicine. In Oncologic Emergency Medicine: Principles and Practice (pp. 513-523). Springer International Publishing.