By: Daniel Vincent MSc(HQ), MD CCFP(PC), (EM)
Palliative care quality is critically important to the provision of community palliative care services to patients and their families and can improve quality of life and improve palliative care outcomes. Receiving palliative care services and subsequently dying in your preferred location are measures of a healthcare system that provides high quality palliative care. Specialized community palliative care teams within the Champlain LHIN provide home and hospice residence visits to patients with life limiting illnesses and provide support to patients and their families including symptom management, clarification of goals of care and end of life care.
As part of Dr. Vincent's a quality improvement initiative/project that he did as part of his Master of Science in Healthcare Quality MSc(HQ), our Orleans Palliative Care Team examined the outcomes of a cohort (239) community palliative care
patients in the Champlain LHIN and the impact of a specialized multidisciplinary community palliative care team. 13.4% (32/239) patients had an emergency department visit in the last two weeks of life and 12.1% (29/239) were hospitalized in the last two weeks of life. 86.6% (207/239) patients died at home or in hospice care. In total, 13.4% (32/239) of patients seen in consultation by the Orleans Palliative Care Team died in acute care hospital.
The retrospective chart review demonstrated improved patient end of life care outcomes as compared to those described by Seow et al.,2014 (admission to hospital in the last two weeks of life, emergency department visits in the last two weeks of life and death in acute care hospital)
Dr. Daniel Vincent is lead physician of Orleans Palliative Care Team / Soins Palliatifs Orleans and Medical Director of Hospice Care Ottawa.