Hospital Care Initiative

The Parkinson’s Foundation Hospital Care Initiative aims to ensure that all people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) can trust that the hospital care they receive is of the highest quality. The initiative’s goal is to also ensure people with PD are heard, valued and respected as partners in their own care.

Understanding the Problem

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  • Each year in the U.S., nearly one-third of people with Parkinson’s will experience a hospital encounter.      


  • Stopping or poor administration of PD medications while hospitalized can lead to medical emergencies, dyskinesias and worsening symptoms.


  • People with PD are at increased risk for in-hospital complications, especially:
    • Infections and Delirium
    • Surgical Complications
  • People with PD have longer lengths of stay and spend more days in the hospital than those without PD


  • People with PD are more likely to be discharged to a short-term hospital or nursing facility than home.
  • They are often more likely to die in-hospital.
  • They often have worse disease severity and symptoms at discharge, compared to admission.


Hospitalization and ER visit costs are higher for people with Parkinson’s disease than those without PD.

  • These costs are increasing. An average hospitalization cost of $25,491 in 2002 increased to $40,802 in 2011.
  • Nation-wide, the estimated annual cost of hospital inpatient services for people with Parkinson’s is $7.19 billion. This is 28.4% of the total direct medical cost of PD.

Improving Hospital Care

People with Parkinson’s should feel heard, valued and respected as contributors to their own healthcare. The Hospital Care Initiative addresses issues many people with PD face in the hospital, as well as the lack of substantial training and meaningful information about Parkinson’s disease in most medical education programs.

The Hospital Care Initiative leverages all Parkinson’s Foundation strengths and programs, incorporating professional education, research and clinical care. To learn more, read the Hospital Recommendations Report: Making Hospitals Safer for People with Parkinson’s Disease , which highlights our work across the Foundation and provides clinical and institutional recommendations for best practices in hospital care for people with Parkinson’s.


Help People with Parkinson’s Get Better Care

If you are a healthcare professional who wants to make changes in your institution, we encourage you to:

Implementation Support

There are many ways the Parkinson’s Foundation can support the work you and your institution are doing to improve hospital care for people with Parkinson’s.

Programs & Research Studies

The Parkinson’s Foundation works to understand and address the challenges associated with hospital care for people with Parkinson’s for more than a decade, but there is still more to do and to learn.

Utilizing and collecting evidence, the Foundation supports research and programs to develop best practices and improve hospital care. The following projects reflect some of the Foundation’s most exciting work in this area.

Parkinson’s Foundation and Cleveland Clinic Inpatient Hospital Research Study

The Parkinson’s Foundation in collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic, a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence, launched a two-year research study focusing on hospital inpatient care for people with PD. Examining both hospital and home medication regimens for people with PD, this research will evaluate the impact of specific hospital care practices to prevent medication errors and further our understanding of the impact of these care practices on improving patient outcomes for people with PD.

Parkinson’s Outcomes Project: Hospital Prevention Sub-Study

This study leverages the Parkinson’s Outcomes Project to identify and further examine effective hospital encounter prevention strategies that can improve health outcomes and quality of care. Through interviews with staff across the Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence network and subsequent qualitative analysis, this project will better understand key strategies and programs used to prevent and reduce the risk of hospitalization and emergency room visits, first identified in this publication.

Partnership Programs Engaging People with Parkinson’s

Engaging people with PD as partners is essential to the Foundation’s work. The Parkinson’s Foundation is a leader in the field of patient engagement and remains committed to engaging people with Parkinson’s as partners in hospital research, care and education including these flagship activities:

  • Aware in Care Ambassadors: create awareness about the need for improved hospital care for people with PD and distribute Aware in Care hospital safety kits in their communities
  • Patient Advisory Councils: established at Centers of Excellence create and drive an understanding of the importance of patient-reported outcomes
  • Hospital experience online survey: help to better understand the hospital experience for people with PD and care partners

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