Enhancing palliative care in ICU

EPIC aims at improvement of palliative care via telemedicine consultations provided in ICU settings

About EPIC

Shorter ICU stays

Studies show that integrating palliative medicine as soon as possible shortens the amount of time patients spend in intensive care, although mortality remains the same. With this in mind, one of the researchers’ goals in EPIC is to reduce the time patients spend in the ICU – which not only has benefits from a health economics standpoint, but is also of immeasurable value for the patients themselves.

“When patients with severe and incurable diseases receive optimum palliative care, then they hopefully won’t have to spend their last days in the ICU, unless there’s a very serious reason. This can be a blessing for them and their families during this extremely critical and highly vulnerable phase at the end of life,” Spies says.

“And palliative care is also helpful for people with severe or chronic disease who are not approaching the end of life. People often confuse palliative medicine with hospice, but they aren’t the same. About half of patients can be discharged and go home with specialized palliative treatment. So improving palliative care across the board would benefit all of the patients in the ICU.”

Detailed information

ICU and palliative care healthcare professionals, medical and expert community, patients, family caregivers and the wider public

EPIC will use various media to inform the public and the various target groups. We provide materials for patients and their families as well as for health care professionals. On this website we present the latest news of the project's progress.

“EPIC is bringing together clinicians and researchers from the areas of palliative and intensive care, social sciences, nursing, ethics, and health economics to implement a harmonized practical model of palliative care at ICUs all across Europe”

Prof. Dr. Claudia Spies
EPIC coordinator, CHARITE


EPIC highlights

Clinical study

The EPIC model is implemented in 7 clinical centres from 5 European countries and 23 multi-disciplinary ICUs in the context of a multicentre clinical trial.

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When introducing new digital technologies into palliative care practices, it is crucial to consider the ethical issues involved.


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In EPIC, we develop a curriculum for and conduct training of EPIC interventionists.


More soon here

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EPIC partners