Background Advance Care Planning (ACP) is an ongoing discussion between patients, their Nominated Healthcare Spokespersons (NHS), and the health care team about future care preferences. This discussion is important as most of us have never planned or talked about our wishes before crisis happens. Covid-19 has led the whole world into a crisis and immense human fear. To combat with public fear of being infected with COVID, Tele-ACP was implemented to supplement face-to-face discussion.
Method A Case report is presented to share my experience of doing the first Tele-ACP during COVID pandemic in a restructured hospital.
The referral was about exploring Preferred Plan of Care (PPC) with a patient who was newly diagnosed with stage 4 Gastric Cancer.
Result The Tele-ACP was completed successfully after a lengthy discussion with turmoil of emotions. I felt excited, satisfied, and fulfilling despite my fear of uncertainty due to no precedent experience and technical challenges. The patient and family were happy that they openly discussed and shared so many topics which were sensitive, serious, and a taboo to the family. The patient teared but felt relieved after expressing his personal values, concerns, healthcare preferences, and end-of-life wishes. The family teared too but realized the importance of knowing and honouring patient’s wishes and preferences. They expressed feeling much more closely united as a family after this conversation.
Additionally, I also learnt how to navigate on the Tele-ACP platform, such as dealing with technical problems, helping participants who were not technical savvy, and how to communicate therapeutically without direct interaction. Tele-ACP was timesaving with less hassles for family to travel between the hospital and home.
Conclusion Tele-ACP is one of the trending online platforms. Moving forward in the post pandemic, it is sustainable and beneficial to all patients and their family/caregivers.