This study piloted and evaluated an integrated palliative care delivery model in a rural area of east-central Alberta. The goal of the project was to improve access to and the quality of palliative care services. The project team consisted of a palliative care consultant physician, a project manager, and a palliative care coordinator, who also served as a nurse consultant. Consultation among health professionals and the palliative care team increased; patients, family, and health providers reported that the quality of care improved; and the project achieved a shift from acute care to community care. The percentage of deaths in the pilot area that were in-home increased dramatically, from about 8 per cent pre-program to almost 30 per cent post-program.
The full report for this project is available on the Alberta Health and Wellness web site at http://www.health.gov.ab.ca/system/key/phc/projects/Lakeland/Pallitive/description.htm
This project was supported by the Health Transition Fund, which was created in 1997 to provide support for evidence-based decision-making in health care reform by supporting pilot and evaluation projects which test innovative approaches to health care delivery. The views expressed herein do no necessarily represent the official policy of federal, provincial, or territorial governments.