A palliative approach to care focuses on meeting a person’s and family’s complete needs – physical, psychosocial and spiritual – at all stages of a chronic progressive illness. Care can be provided at any time, not just in the last days of life. There are many options to where palliative and end of life care can be provided, in the home, hospital, long-term care facility or free-standing hospice.
An important part of home-based palliative care is effective communication with all the members of a person’s health care team.
Most people receive home-based palliative from their family and friends. This care is supplemented by services from the health care team including: nurses, home support workers, doctors, palliative care specialists, therapists, social workers, and paramedics.
Home-based palliative care requires effective and efficient communication, decision-making and care coordination. Service providers much consider several operational practices to ensure this happens. They include (but are not limited to): communication skills development; training in a patient-centered approach; practice-based interventions designed to improve interprofessional collaboration; electronic medical records; interdisciplinary team meetings; standardized documentation; and secure e-messaging.