Quality & Safety
NCPD Article

Macy Catheter: Integration and Evaluation in a Hospice Setting to Provide Symptom Relief During End-of-Life Care

Linda Quinlin

Wendy Schmitz

Milli Jefferson

hospice, end-of-life care, pain management, rectal catheter, program development
CJON 2020, 24(6), 689-693. DOI: 10.1188/20.CJON.689-693

Provision of high-quality end-of-life care in a cost-effective work environment is the aim of all hospice organizations. This opportunity can be negatively affected when there is a limited supply of parenteral narcotics or administration routes are either not functional or fail to control symptoms. To combat these challenges, including a shortage of available parenteral narcotics, staff at a hospice organization adopted the use of a rectal catheter to deliver oral medications that were readily available. The implementation of a rectal catheter resulted in better control of symptoms, fewer titrations, and improvement in pain control and/or symptom management needs during end-of-life care management.


  • The Macy Catheter is a transformational prescription device that offers a safe and effective option to provide rectal access for administration of medications during end-of-life care management.
  • A rectal catheter can be used for a subset of patients who are unable to swallow or who require timely, meaningful pain relief.
  • Cost savings and improved nursing attitudes were noted one year after integration of rectal medication administration.
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