2019 Quality Awards
Written by Susan Brown, Clinical Nurse Specialist

The Integrating a Palliative Approach to Care Initiative was awarded runner-up in the Coping with End of Life category of the 2019 Quality Awards.

Coping with the end of life is often a difficult process for residents and families. In response, Fraser Health is collaborating with all residential care homes in the region to enhance the care experience for residents and their families through integrating a palliative approach and serious illness conversations into their usual care processes.

A palliative approach aims to improve the quality of life for residents living with life-limiting illnesses, as well as support and prepare families for what may be ahead. This approach understands the progressive nature of chronic life-limiting illnesses and is used to ensure quality of living and dying earlier in the resident’s disease trajectory. It incorporates the same principles as palliative care while proactively avoiding crisis and needless suffering in a resident’s last months.

To make these changes, focus groups were held with key stakeholders to identify a number of opportunities for improvement through a collaborative model of engagement and education. Some of the key areas of improvement were related to communication, documentation, and early recognition of frailty and changes in function.

Overall, the goal is to ensure that care reflects residents’ and families’ needs and desires. Families play an important role in a palliative approach to care, especially during conversations about preparing for end of life and expressing personal values and preferences regarding care and treatment. A palliative approach to care enables the resident and family voice to be integrated throughout the resident’s care journey. The Integrating a Palliative Approach to Care Initiative was awarded runner-up in the Coping with End of Life category of the 2019 Quality Awards.

To read more about the BC Patient Safety and Quality Council Quality Awards, click here.

To learn more about the Integrating a Palliative Approach to Care in Residential Care Initiative, contact Susan Brown, clinical nurse specialist at susan.p.brown@fraserhealth.ca or Nick Petropolis, physician lead at nick.petropolis@fraserhealth.ca.


comments powered by Disqus