Table 3

Prevalence of ICU practices among 129 Pennsylvania hospitals

NCP* end-of-life care domainNQF preferred practiceLevel of evidenceProportion with practice
ICU programme, policy or practicen (%)
Standard protocol for nurses to assess and chart patient symptomsStructure/processesYesC105 (81)
Private conference room for family meetingsStructure/processesNoC75 (58)
Daily multidisciplinary roundsStructure/processesNoB65 (50)
Clinical protocols for symptom managementPhysical aspects and structure/processesYesA60 (47)
Clinical protocol for withdrawing/withholding life-sustaining treatmentsPhysical aspects and structure/processesYesC52 (40)
Pastoral care representative visits without being calledSpiritual/religious aspectsYesC49 (38)
Regularly scheduled family meetings with attending physicianStructure/processesYesA8 (6)
  • ICU, intensive care unit.

  • * NCP: National Consensus Project's Clinical Practice Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care.

  • NQF: National Quality Forum's National framework and preferred practices for palliative and hospice care quality

  • Estimated from an informal survey of national experts in end-of-life care; A, randomised clinical trial; B, observational study; C, expert recommendation.