The use of common assessment tools: supporting connections



Publication Details

S. Hanson & M. Banfield "The use of common assessment tools: supporting connections", Palliative Care NSW State Conference, 31 Oct - 2 Nov, (2012)


Implementation of common assessment tools across care settings facilitates a shared language that supports better communication between team members and between services. The use of common assessment tools supports the development of referral triggers and clinical decision tools that improve clinical outcomes and patient and family experience - ensuring for all people the right care, at the right time, in the right place.

The importance of 'impeccable' clinical assessment has been understood from the very beginning of the modern hospice movement, along with the need for 'exquisite' attention to detail. While these definitions may be disputed in the palliative care movement of the 21st century the underlying principle that quality, patient -centred, holistic care begins with good assessment cannot be disputed. The NSAP Quality Report (NSAP 2011) revealed that clinical assessment was identified by two-thirds of palliative care services as a priority for improvement. Clinical assessment data is routinely collected by the Palliative Care Outcomes Collaboration (PCOC) to report service performance against national benchmarks in clinical care, and is used to drive improvement effort.

This presentation will explore the links between clinical assessment and improved quality of care for people approaching and reaching the end of life - a shared commitment and collaboration between PCOC and Calvary Health, Aged and Community Care services. The use of the validated assessment tools utilised by PCOC to support quality improvement initiatives for the care of people approaching and reaching the end of life within Calvary services will be described.

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