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Hospitals add palliative teams at feverish pace

The New York Times /Associated Press, June 5, 2012

Hospitals across the country have been adding programs in palliative care—which focuses on treating pain, minimizing side effects, coordinating care among doctors and ensuring the concerns of patients and their families are addressed—at a feverish pace. The field has expanded so rapidly that a majority of American hospitals now have palliative programs, to the delight of patients who say they've finally found relief and a sympathetic ear. Palliative care has its roots in the 1970s, but was slow to grow. Several pieces of research helped to advance the cause, though, showing widespread untreated pain in hospitals and nursing homes and the positive impact palliative programs had on such patients.