Supporting end-of-life care

9 October 2019

Clinicians will be better supported to provide end-of-life care to patients, as well as their carers and families, as part of a new project being spearheaded by eHealth NSW.

Whether it’s helping people with life-limiting conditions to maximise their quality of life or ensuring comfort for those enduring a terminal illness, palliative care is an essential component of modern health care services and a key priority of NSW Health.

To support this, eHealth NSW is driving an End of Life Care (EOLC) project to design and implement electronic medical record (EMR) capabilities which ensure a high-quality of coordinated and multi-disciplinary care in the final phase of a person’s life.

Pilot engagement with LHD partners will begin in November 2019 to implement a solution that will allow medical, nursing and allied health staff to outline and implement recommendations and plans of care in collaboration with palliative patients and their families or carers.

“This EMR enhancement will support clinicians to meet the care needs of patients who are approaching the end of their lives, as well as their families,” said Richard Pannett, Design, Build and Transition Workstream Manager for eHealth NSW’s EMR Connect Program.

“It will build into our EMR greater visibility of palliative patients, which will support ease and effectiveness of patient monitoring across inpatient and community services, as well as streamlining the specialist palliative care referral and consultation process.”

The EOLC project has released expressions of interest to local health districts and speciality health networks. Metropolitan and rural/regional LHD representation is being sought for a pilot set to evaluate the eMR solution's safety, quality and clinical efficacy.

The need for a state‐wide approach to palliative care in the eMR was identified during planning for the Community Health and Outpatient Care (CHOC) Program.

The Ministry of Health has released the End of Life and Palliative Care Framework 2019-2024, which articulates NSW Health’s vision of an integrated approach to palliative and end-of-life care planning and services within the NSW public health system.

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