Background Project Management focuses on benefits and outcomes, providing a proven and effective way of using resources and managing risks to undertake service development and improve patient services. Project management harnesses and shares knowledge, improves organisational engagement, communication and reflective learning. A trial of this approach was used to develop a Fatigue and Breathlessness service. Fatigue and breathlessness (FAB) are common and distressing symptoms for many people living with a life-limiting illness. Supporting patients to self-manage these symptoms is a key component of the rehabilitative palliative care agenda (Hospice UK, 2015).
Aims To scope, develop, pilot and evaluate a community-based outreach service for patients experiencing fatigue and/or breathlessness within seven months.
Methods A small scale project management approach based on the principles of ‘Prince2’ (Prince2, 2009) was used to plan, implement, monitor and evaluate the development of this new service. A cross-functional project team with clear roles and responsibilities was established from the start. Regular team meetings, a succinct project brief and an ambitious but realistic project plan were all utilised to ensure successful completion of the project’s objectives. Following a period of research, a six week FAB programme was developed incorporating education, self-management strategies, exercise and relaxation. Patient outcomes were measured using a modified MYMOP2 (Measure Yourself Medical Outcome Profile, University of Bristol), alongside participant evaluation forms.
Results Project management supported effective and resource efficient service development on time and within budget. Four groups were delivered during the pilot stage of this project in a range of community venues. Nineteen attendees completed outcome forms, with improvements made in all domains:
• Fatigue, 13%
• Breathlessness, 14%
• Chosen activity, 7%
• Wellbeing, 2%
• Knowledge, 19%
• Confidence in self-management, 17%
Conclusions Project Management supported significant patient and organisational benefits including:
• Risk management
• Patient safety
• Improved communication
• Team development and learning.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.