Transforming practice around the vital signs of palliative care

Anne May at the Australian Palliative Care Conference 2017.

Mount Druitt Hospital supportive and palliative care unit clinical nurse educator Anne May presented a poster at the Australian Palliative Care Conference in Adelaide in early September.

In palliative care, the assessment practice is standardised by the palliative care outcomes collaboration (PCOC) assessment system.

Mount Druitt Hospital’s palliative care unit started using the PCOC assessment tools in 2006.

By participating in bench-marking with other palliative care services, a need was identified to revise and improve reporting against the PCOC tools.

The aim of the project was to transition from an individual clinician assessing patient needs to a whole-of-team approach.

Transforming the practice from a data collection activity to an assessment system using the PCOC tools as palliative vital signs helped to identify changes in a patient’s condition and improve patient-centered care.

Reporting against the PCOC tools also helped check consistency of practice.

The cycle of engagement, implementation, patient/carer engagement and operational monitoring produced results.

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