Division of Emergency Medicine Palliative Care | NYU Langone Health

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Department of Emergency Medicine Divisions Division of Emergency Medicine Palliative Care

Division of Emergency Medicine Palliative Care

The Division of Emergency Medicine Palliative Care, part of NYU Langone Health’s Ronald O. Perelman Department of Emergency Medicine, is committed to improving the quality of life for patients in the emergency department (ED) with serious illness by delivering excellent, compassionate care.

As one of the only departments in the United States with a palliative care division dedicated to caring for patients in the ED, we have pioneered workflows through which the entire ED care team addresses the physical, social, and psychological needs of patients with serious illness. In addition, we strive to partner with patients and their families to deliver care in the ED that aligns with their wishes. Our goal is to ensure that patients and their families are offered a multidisciplinary approach to addressing their needs that begins in the ED.

Emergency Medicine Palliative Care Clinical Services

Our clinical initiatives help manage symptoms such as pain in patients who have serious or life-limiting illnesses that include cancer or advanced disease affecting the lungs, heart, kidneys, or liver. We also offer a comfort-based approach to caring for patients whose goals are to focus primarily on quality of life.

Our care teams use advanced technologies to identify patients who require additional support early on, and we have designed novel programs to facilitate the transition of patients from the ED to other care sites, when appropriate.

Our providers with palliative care expertise treat patients in NYU Langone's Ronald O. Perelman Center for Emergency Services and the emergency departments at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue, NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn, and NYU Langone Hospital—Long Island.

Emergency Medicine Palliative Care Education

Faculty in our division train members of NYU Langone’s ED care teams in the unique skill set they need to deliver expert palliative care in an ED. Trainees participate in rotations and didactics focused on the intersection of palliative care and emergency care.

We emphasize communication skills, skillful symptom management, and effective alignment with community resources such as hospice services. Using a variety of educational modalities, we offer a range of hands-on educational opportunities to future physicians, attendings, nurses, physician assistants, social workers, and care managers.

Our trainees have opportunities to participate in our division’s active research programs. Conducting hands-on research with division faculty positions trainees as competitive hires in this evolving field.

Emergency Medicine Palliative Care Research

We are one of the nation’s primary sites for research focused on palliative care in the ED. Our faculty collaborate with leading researchers on initiatives that integrate palliative medicine and emergency medicine.

We regularly publish our results in leading peer-reviewed journals and present findings at national meetings.

Current ongoing projects include the Emergency Medicine Palliative Care Access trial, sponsored by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, led by principal investigator Corita R. Grudzen, MD, MSHS, and co-investigator Audrey Tan, DO. This multisite randomized, controlled trial compares the effectiveness of two different models of palliative care for older adults with advanced illness who were discharged from the ED: specialty outpatient clinic and nurse-led telephonic care.

Dr. Grudzen also leads the Primary Palliative Care for Emergency Medicine study, a National Institutes of Health–sponsored pragmatic, cluster-randomized, stepped-wedge trial to test the effectiveness of a multimodal intervention in 35 EDs across the United States. The overall approach involves training emergency medicine providers and nurses in primary palliative care skills, implementing a clinical decision support system, and reinforcing best practices via regular audit and feedback.

Emergency Medicine Palliative Care Leadership

Audrey Tan, DO, is director of the Division of Emergency Medicine Palliative Care. She spearheads the division’s clinical, educational, and research initiatives, working with a team of palliative care champions that includes nurses, social workers, care managers, physicians, and physician assistants.