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Palliative Care Resources at The UVM Medical Center

Telemedicine consultation

The UVM Medical Center provides telemedicine palliative medicine consultations for patients with life-threatening conditions being transferred to The UVM Medical Center's Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU). With this program, a palliative care physician conducts a telemedicine consult with the patient or family, the referring physician and the attending physician in The UVM Medical Center's Medical Intensive Care Unit before the patient is transferred.

These consults help improve communication and quality of care for patients being transferred who may not survive. The goal is to establish a relationship with the patient and family members prior to transfer. We also want to make sure the patient, family members and referring physician understand the goals of care - and what we can do for the patient - before he or she is transferred.

Criteria for palliative medicine consultations

Patients with any of the following conditions may be candidates for a palliative medicine consultation:

  • Prolonged multi-system organ failure
  • Metastatic cancer with respiratory or cardiac failure
  • Severe anoxic encephalopathy
  • Very advanced age (above 90 years) associated with organ failure
  • Advanced dementia
  • Poor baseline quality of life
  • End-stage heart, liver or lung disease (less than a six month prognosis prior to acute illness)

How to request a palliative medicine consultation

To request a consultation, call Provider Access Service (PAS) at (802) 847-2700 or (800) 639-2480.

Requests for consultation can be made by a community hospital physician or other health care provider prior to transferring the patient. Requests may also be initiated by The UVM Medical Center MICU attending or Critical Care Fellow after receiving a call about a transfer.

24/7 palliative medicine hotline

Our Palliative Medicine team is available to assist you whenever you need us. To reach our 24/7 Palliative Medicine Hotline, call PAS at (802) 847-2700 or (800) 639-2480.

Site Visits

Members of our Palliative Medicine team conduct site visits at community hospitals and physician practices. We are available to visit your site either via telemedicine or in person. Presentations on current palliative care issues can be arranged. Contact Palliative Medicine at 802-847-1023 or contact UVM Medical Center Palliative Medicine online for more information or to arrange a site visit.

Community hospital physicians and providers can submit a question to Palliative Care at The UVM Medical Center and we will post a response. Eventually, we plan to put a system in place to facilitate dialogue among providers throughout the network, where individuals can weigh in on the question and offer opinions and discussion.