When and how to SNAP your patient’s care type from acute to palliative
The key elements to palliative care snapping care include:
- A clinical determination that the primary goals of care are comfort and quality of life. This does not preclude palliative or therapeutic interventions
- Care delivered by or directed by a specialist palliative team
- A multidisciplinary management plan that includes a functional ability ADL assessment (RUG) and agreed Goals of Care
- Care type not defined by physical location but assigned according to care type / need and goals of care, as discussed with the patient
- A palliative care phase and RUG score documented in the clinical record for each review
- SNAPPING to palliative is applicable BEFORE terminal phase or use of the Care Plan for the Dying Person
Patients can be admitted directly under the palliative care code, including when admitted via Emergency into an acute bed – there is no need for the SNAP episode to be preceded by an acute episode.
Equally, a patient can be snapped back to acute from a palliative code if a reversible intervention is indicated. Your local hospital palliative care service can provide advice.