Extended-hours palliative care service with a hospital-avoidance and enhanced-care approach: report of a quality improvement project.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
International journal of palliative nursing, 2020, 26, (5), pp. 222-228
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BACKGROUND:A community palliative care service (CPCS) identified its after-hours support as sub-optimal in avoiding acute hospitalisation and supporting patients to remain at home. It created and conducted a pilot of an extended hours palliative care service (EHPCS) using current resources. AIMS:To evaluate the efficacy of an extended hours palliative care service pilot. METHODS:Retrospective chart review of after-hours calls taken before the trial, usual care, was undertaken. During the trial, quantitative data was gathered of the outcome of each after-hours call, including outcomes of occasion of service, reason for and length and times of calls. FINDINGS:The extended hours palliative care service, compared with usual care, showed an almost 50% decrease in acute hospitalisation, nearly doubled after-hours palliative care unit admission and a 17% increase in patients staying in their home. EHPCS was positively received by CPCS staff, despite cost and workforce impact. CONCLUSIONS:EHPCS can positively impact on reducing avoidable hospitalisations and facilitate palliative care patients to be in their preferred place of care.
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