Palliative ​Care and Supportive Care

Location of Care

OU Medical Center

​Information on the 2019 Palliative Care Summit


What is palliative care?

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people facing a serious illness. It focuses on providing patients relief from distressing symptoms and the stress of a serious illness. The overall goal of palliative care is to improve quality of life for the patient and their family. Palliative care is available through a specialized team of doctors, nurses and other health care professionals who work together with a patient’s primary doctor to provide another layer of support. Palliative care is appropriate at any
age and can be provided together with challenging curative treatments.

Our program

Even in the best of circumstances, dealing with serious illness can be overwhelming. The Palliative Care Program at OU Medical Center is here to help. We are a hospital-based consultation service available to patients receiving care in our facility. We are focused on providing support and comfort while an illness is being actively treated, as well as helping each patient and his or her loved ones cope with the illness and how it affects their lives.

Is this for you?

If you or a family member is living with a serious illness, this program is for you. Patients of all ages with a life-limiting disease can benefit from our services.

How can we help?

Our program offers a wide range of supportive care services to patients and their families. The benefits include:
• Easing symptoms that cause distress like pain, fatigue, anxiety, nausea, breathing problems and more
• Spiritual, emotional and social support
• Coordination of care among various health care providers and settings
• Referral and coordination of home care and other services at the time of discharge
• Helping create an advance care plan that details your wishes for your future health care

Is this different than hospice care?

Yes, palliative care is appropriate at any age and can be provided together with curative treatments such as complex surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation and dialysis. Palliative care is an extra layer of supportive care and should be started early in the disease process. Unlike hospice, palliative care services are not linked to prognosis. Hospice care is actually a type of palliative care or palliation for patients nearing the end of their lives. Hospice care can be provided at home often by loved ones with the help of the hospice team, in a nursing home or in a residential hospice facility. Hospices provide care in the hospital only under special circumstances and only for a few days.

How do I access comfort care at OU Medical Center?

Just ask.
Tell your doctors, nurses, family and caregivers that you want to know more about receiving services through our program. Our team works with your doctor to provide an extra layer of support for you and your family. 

Additionally, the palliative care team has a number of resources:

We Honor Veterans Program
No One Dies Alone Program
Pet Therapy 

To read more about palliative care, click here or here.  
For more about our end-of-life care services, click here