Delivering and supporting comprehensive end-of-life care user guide

Delivering and supporting comprehensive end-of-life care user guide

CPD Hours: 2
Current as at 15 October 2021
This paper explores the major challenges for healthcare services to ensure high-quality healthcare for the increasing number of patients living with complex symptoms and needs at the end of life as a result of advanced illness and its treatment.

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Course Content

Whilst it is important to have access to good healthcare in all stages of life, in recent years it has become obvious that there is a need to put focus on receiving good healthcare during the end of life, especially for patients with uncontrolled symptom burden from serious or complex illness.

Half of Australians die within acute healthcare services and require end-of-life care (EOLC), and while dying and death cannot be planned, the symptom management of dyspnoea, pain, and suffering, as well as patient- and family-centred care, are still immensely important to manage.

Whilst relatives are ordinarily mere visitors, during the EOLC they are the link to the patient as they often help the patient in their cognitive and emotional approach to their own mortality and assist with shifting perspectives of EOLC; they are therefore a link to the planning and implementation of treatment decisions. The clinicians then use this to incorporate shared decision making to improve consistency between patient wishes and treatment.

A major challenge for healthcare services is to ensure high-quality healthcare for the increasing number of patients living with complex symptoms and needs at the end of life as a result of advanced illness and its treatment. Patients and their families should be confident that when facing a life-threatening illness and in need of EOLC, they will receive high-quality care, focused on providing comfort and dignity according to their needs and preferences.

This guide provides practical strategies that health service organizations and clinicians can use to meet the essential elements of safe and high-quality EOLC and the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards requirements. It helps the healthcare organizations comply with the NSQHS Standards, and most importantly, it helps them deliver comprehensive EOLC, and minimize the gaps in healthcare.

Learning Outcomes

In this session, you will:

  • Investigate the recommended healthcare components for the provision of EOLC
  • Familiarize with the NSQHS Standard requirements for EOLC 
  • Review the processes of care that lead to high-quality person-centred care
  • Discuss what it means to be involved in planning and decision-making about current and future care
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