St. Luke’s International Hospital

St. Luke’s International Hospital

Palliative care Department

Overview

Palliative care consists of medical care that is intended to alleviate the physical and emotional pain and suffering of patients with cancer and other serious diseases and their family members. Great importance is put on the quality of patients’ life and their daily functions, as we support them and their families to live their lives as true to themselves as possible.

Diseases and Expertise

Palliative Care Outpatients

At outpatients we help to ease various kinds of discomforts that patients and their family member's experience, and to relieve the pain and suffering associated with cancer treatment.
Consultation hours are during the morning on weekdays, by appointment.
If patients who are already attending our hospital wish to have an appointment, please ask your attending physician or nurse.

Palliative Care Team

If patients who are hospitalized in a general ward experience extreme pain, their attending physician or the physician in charge can refer them to the palliative care team (consisting of a palliative care doctor, oncology nurse, and pharmacist) to consult with them in the ward and provide treatment.
The doctor in charge makes the final decisions about the patient’s course of treatment, but the palliative care team can give advice on relieving their symptoms when consulted.
If inpatients wish to have a consultation with the palliative care team, please ask your attending physician or nurse.

Palliative Care Ward

This ward is intended for patients whose cancer is incurable. Here we basically do not perform direct cancer therapy (chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery) or other treatments or tests that place a heavy physical burden on the patient. We also do not perform resuscitative or other procedures that will merely prolong life, but provide supportive treatment that will aid the patient without adding unnecessary discomfort, after careful discussions.
We try to alleviate patients’ pain, suffering and anxieties as far as we can, to help them live the way they prefer.
When patients’ symptoms have stabilized, we recommend home care. After discharge, they are seen at the Palliative Care Outpatients, and we also coordinate home care for them with a home visit nursing care station or clinic in their neighborhood.

Statistics

  Item FY2014
Ward Hospital admission 209 patients
Transferred from other departments in the hospital 82 patients
Average length of stay 29.6 days
Outpatients First visits 395 patients
Referred from other departments in the hospital 119 patients
Total 1,622 patients
Consultations by the palliative care team Consultations inside the hospital 234 patients

Consultation Procedure

For patients who have already had consultations at our department, please consult with your primary physician.
For patients under the care of another medical institution, please make an outpatient appointment.

  • Outpatient consultations are by appointment only.
  • The doctor in charge of the outpatient will determine whether hospitalization is necessary after consultation.

How to make Outpatient Appointments

  • Social workers at the Social Service Department will make appointments.
  • Please call us for consultations on Monday-Friday between 10:00AM and 3:00PM.
  • Direct Line TEL: 03-5550-7031

Flow of Outpatient Consultations

Please call the hospital. (Social Service Department)

Once the social worker identifies the current situation of the patient, they will briefly explain about the palliative care department and how to make appointments.

Complete process at the First-Visit Desk (Counter 3) located in the Main Hospital Building

A referral letter from your primary physician is required in order to fill out paperwork.

Please go to the Palliative Care Department (Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery) reception desk located on the 2nd floor in the Old Building.

At the reception desk, please turn in your registration card, referral letter and any reference items you may have.

Consultation with the doctors and nurses of the Palliative Care Department

Application for hospital admission if necessary.

Continue home-based treatment. (In this case, make the next outpatient appointment)

For those who wish, a tour of our ward is available after the examination/consultation with the doctor.

If actual patient consultation is difficult

It would be best if the patient can come in for the consultation. However if this is difficult, a close family member who has a thorough understanding of the patient's conditions may come instead.

Necessary Items for Consultation

  • A referral letter from your current primary physician is necessary. If possible, please bring in materials such as photo images for reference.
  • Consultations by the actual patient are covered by insurance. Please bring in your health insurance card.

If the consulting patient is hospitalized in another institution or if a family member of the patient comes in for a consultation (the patient is not present), we ask for a fee of 5,000 yen (not covered by health insurance).

If hospitalization is not necessary

We also accept outpatient consultations solely for symptom control. We also accept consultations for home-based treatments.

If you only wish to see the nurse

If you wish for an explanation of our hospital's palliative care prior to asking for the referral letter from your primary physician, you will be able to meet with a cancer specialist nurse in charge of palliative care outpatients.

  • You will need to take the same procedure as booking a consultation.
  • You will need to set up a separate appointment with our palliative care doctor if you wish to be admitted or make regular visits.

Characteristics of a Palliative Care Ward

  • Medical staff will visit rooms depending on the patient's conditions. We will try to fulfill the patient's wishes for treatments whenever possible.
  • There are no limitations for visits. We will accommodate to the patient's wishes. Fold-down beds are available for families wishing to stay overnight.
  • Families are free to bring in products and food items for the patients. However we do not take any responsibilities for the management of these items. Please consult with our staff regarding visitation with pets. Smoking in the hospital rooms or the hospital is prohibited for disaster prevention.
  • Please consult with a doctor or nurse regarding day or overnight leaves. We ask for a specific form to be turned in when requesting leaves.
  • Patients may freely use the facilities within the hospital.
    • Piano, CDs and book rentals are available in the multipurpose room.
    • If inquired ahead of time, you may use the space to spend time with family or for parties.
    • At the shampoo corner, patients can wash and cut their hair. Appointments are required for haircuts. Please ask a nurse to make appointments.
    • Please feel free to use the kitchen, refrigerator and microwave.
    • The kitchen for the ward has an electric kettle, ice maker and ice shaver machine.
    • For patients who wish to bring in other items, please consult with our staff. We may not allow some items due to safety precautions. We are not responsible for any items brought in.
  • Events: Talk with Chaplains every Monday from 2:00PM, home concerts every Friday at 2:00PM. We also conduct birthday gatherings and seasonal events. Please check the bulletin board for details.
  • Excluding Sundays and holidays, 2-3 volunteers will change water for flowers, exchange towels, prepare tea, take patients for walks, shop and massage, etc.

Medical Staff

The palliative medicine department , centered around primary physicians and doctors, nurse managers, assistant nurse manager, nurses, nursing assistant, pharmacists and volunteers will work as a team with psychiatrists, psychotherapists, nurses specializing in emotional care, chaplains, social workers, music therapists, nutritionists, physiotherapists and visiting nurses in order to support the patient and their families. Please feel free to contact us.

Facility Overview

  • There are a total of 24 rooms; 10 private rooms (at extra cost) and 14 rooms (at no extra cost.)
  • The no extra-cost rooms: 5 private rooms with a shower and toilet, 1 private room with a toilet, 6 semiprivate rooms with a shared a shower and toilet, 1 room with 2 beds and a shared shower and toilet.
  • Other facilities include: bath lifts, gathering room, kitchen for patients, conference room, lobby for families, shampoo corner and musical therapy room.

Use of Hospital Room

  • When a desired room is unavailable, we will try to transfer you once the room is vacant.
  • When conditions are stable, we recommend a home-based care.
  • As a general rule, we do not accept long-term hospitalization. If a patient wishes to remain hospitalized under stable conditions, we may ask you to transfer to another hospital.

Entering/Leaving Hospital

  • Entering/leaving the hospital will be decided upon the understanding and consent of the patient, family and medical staff.
  • After leaving the hospital, you can continue palliative care outpatient consultations.
  • You can also receive home-based care in cooperation with our hospital, the region's home nursing care station or a private practitioner.

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