Hospice and Palliative Care

Brianne Bachman, MPH, CIC

Infection Prevention Specialist

Corewell Health West

Original Publication:
November 6, 2023
Declarations of Conflicts of Interest:
  • Brianne declares no conflicts of interest.

APIC acknowledges and thanks Doris Neumeyer, RN, for authoring the original chapter which was published October 2, 2014

Doris Neumeyer, RN, BSN Administrative Nurse Clinician

William Beaumont Hospital-Troy
Troy, MI


Hospice is a type of comprehensive care provided to a patient with a serious terminal illness, where the patient’s comfort and quality of life are the primary focus. Typically, the qualifying life expectancy for hospice is defined as 6 months or less. Palliative care extends the concepts of comfort and quality of life from hospice care to care for patients who are not imminently terminal but who have a life-limiting or debilitating disease or condition. Patients receiving palliative care may also be receiving lifesaving or life-prolonging treatment. Both hospice and palliative care prioritize planning and providing care that supports the patient’s goals, desires, and needs as they progress through their disease process.

Infection prevention and control practices for this set of patients may need to be adapted so that the patient’s requests, needs, and dignity are maintained and incorporated as safely as possible into the plan of care. However, for the safety of patients, healthcare personnel, and the community, it is always important to maintain basic infection prevention and control practices that pertain to all types of patient care, such as standard precautions, transmission-based precautions, surveillance activities, and patient and family education.