Inpatient Palliative Care


Our inpatient palliative care program provides relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for patients and their families at any point in the course of their illness, including while curative treatments are underway. Care is provided by a team of palliative specialists — physicians, nurse practitioners, social workers, and a chaplain — in collaboration with Hope Hospice & Palliative Care Rhode Island.

Supporting physical and emotional health

At South County Hospital, when a patient is facing a significant illness, the Palliative Care Team develops a care plan.

Palliative care has been shown to be effective for patients of any age and across a range of diagnoses:

  • It can help to improve the ability to tolerate medical treatments and the side effects of disease.
  • Unlike hospice care, palliative care can be used by patients who are continuing to receive curative treatments, including aggressive care for serious illness. Palliative care consultants can help manage symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, numbness, problems with sleep, and much more.
  • It offers longer-term support of chronic diseases such as congestive heart failure, congestive obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic pain, cancer, and many other conditions and illnesses.
  • It also provides spiritual and social support services as needed.

Improving communication and coordination

At South County Hospital, palliative care facilitates communication between patients and caregivers, while improving the coordination of care. We help patients determine what is most important to them and work with their health team to meet their specific goals. And as a patient’s condition and treatment options change and evolve, we can assist in providing the right kind of care at the right time.

When needed, our discharge planning team refers patients to home care to continue the palliative care plan after their hospital stay. Most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, cover palliative care.