Background Many palliative care organisations use journal clubs to support educational development for staff. However, to date, the potential to use journal clubs to directly improve clinical care in hospices (through quality improvement activity) has not been described in the literature.
Aims We describe the development of a multidisciplinary hospice journal club, through which aimed to (1) develop research questions to clinical care problems in the hospice and (2) identify solutions to these problems to improve care delivery.
Methods In January 2019, we established fortnightly journal club meetings, which provided staff with the opportunity to present hospice-relevant palliative care research. In these meetings, we discussed the main findings, clinical practice implications and future research questions. Initially, the meetings were in-person, but we later hosted these online (via Microsoft Teams) due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which enabled virtual participation. We used the research questions generated to inform future quality improvement work. We asked staff to complete a feedback survey to determine their views of the process.
Results We have conducted 30 journal club meetings, which have generated 124 research questions. Thirteen meetings were virtual. We have conducted quality improvement work using these research questions to improve clinical care. Nineteen staff (representing five clinical sites) completed feedback. The feedback was positive, with participants stating that the journal club was educational, clinically relevant and enjoyable. The main problem identified by participants were technological issues relating to participating in the virtual meetings.
Conclusion/Discussion We have demonstrated how a palliative care journal club can be used to improve clinical care in a hospice. Our experience can be used by other palliative care settings to engage staff in research and improve care for those with serious illness.
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