Background Quantifying the impact of hospice care is challenging, with outcome measures used in the acute sector not fit for purpose in a hospice setting (Etkind, Daveson, Kwok, et al. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2015;49(3):611–624). A suite of measures has been developed and validated specifically for use in palliative care, and adopted by various hospices across the UK. Three of these measures were introduced in Ayrshire Hospice in October 2022.
Aim To effectively implement, using principles of implementation theory (Bradshaw, Santarelli, Mulderrig et al. Palliat Med. 2021;35(2):397–40), three outcome measures across all hospice settings, with clinical staff understanding the rationale behind use of the measures and how they can improve and demonstrate patient-centred care.
Methods A working group with representation from each clinical area was established six months prior to the launch date. This group included the lead consultant, who was the project sponsor.
The group met regularly to establish which measures would be implemented during phase 1, and associated processes required to utilise the measures consistently within current working practice. A series of infographics introducing the measures and why they were being implemented was developed and communicated to staff in the period prior to implementation.
A programme of education was attended by 69% of clinical staff. An internal online resource was developed as a reference tool for any staff requiring further information on how to use the tools.
Feedback from staff and initial findings from data audits were communicated at 3 week and 3 month timepoints to encourage engagement and participation from teams.
Results All three measures were successfully implemented on the planned date. Evaluations of the education sessions were positive, with 100% of attendees improving their knowledge and understanding.
Conclusion Using principles of implementation theory, outcome measures were successfully introduced across all services of the Ayrshire Hospice. These will inform care at patient and service level, and demonstrate impact of hospice services (Dudgeon. J Palliat Med. 2018; 21(S1):S76-S80).