Background Pre-pandemic, Acorns commenced a project for a new and innovative online service which would enable families to have remote access to information about all aspects of services being delivered to their child and their family. The project was placed on hold during COVID-19 and finally launched in July 2022.
Aims (1) Parents will be empowered and have further control over their child’s care. (2) Enable Acorns care staff to provide even more tailored support to the child in response to family input of data via the portal.
Methods Stage 1. Series of workshops held with software developers, families, and project team. Stage 2. Governance processes developed. Training provided and user guidance developed. Stage 3. Portal roll-out phased across three hospice sites. Stage 4. Portal helpdesk established.
Results Successfully implemented a 24/7 online service for families which enables information to be shared at a time that is most convenient for families. Parents are sharing information about their child either prior or during a stay. They are adding information for nurses to view specific food their child likes, the way they like to be held if they are babies or very young, or any information they feel would make their child happier during their stay. With non-communicative children, even the smallest of familiarity they can get from Acorns will help them to feel more relaxed. In the first 9 months there were 247 log-ins to the Family Portal, 47 families accessing online booking and information sharing.
Conclusions Whilst there are relatively small numbers of families who are accessing the portal, those that are using the portal are doing so consistently as a preferred choice of communication.
How innovative or of interest is the abstract?We hope that sharing our learning will benefit colleagues from across the wider palliative care sector.
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