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Palliative care/hospice
A self-evaluation tool for advance care planning programs
  1. J Blackford and
  2. A Street
  1. La Trobe University

Abstract

Internationally a number of advance care planning (ACP) programs have been established. Measurement of a program's success is usually focused on the completion rate of advance directives or plans. As a quality measure though it provides little information about the organisational processes that either contribute to or hinder a program's success. A study was conducted to develop an evaluation tool for an ACP model (ACP) implemented in community palliative care services. A multi-site action research approach was used to work with three community palliative care services located in Victoria, Australia. Qualitative and quantitative data collection strategies were used to develop the ACP evaluation tool. The tool was used as both a peer-assessment and self-assessment tool. It identifies a 3-staged organisational implementation process for the ACP model. These were: establishment, consolidation and sustainability. This occurred across the previously established ACP model domains of governance, ACP documentation processes, ACP practice, ACP education, quality processes and community engagement. The evaluation tool enabled community palliative care services to monitor, evaluate and plan quality improvement of their ACP model and thereby improve end of life care. As the tool describes generic processes common to all health services there is potential transferability of the tool to other types of health services.

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