The impact of introducing Palliative Care Needs Rounds into rural residential aged care: A quasi-experimental study

Suzanne Rainsford, Wai Man Liu, Nikki Johnston OAM , Nicholas Glasgow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: This study examined the impact of introducing Palliative Care Needs Rounds (hereafter Needs Rounds) into residential aged care on hospitalisations (emergency department presentations, admissions and length of stay) and documentation of advance care plans. Design: A quasi-experimental study. Setting: Two residential aged care facilities in one rural town in the Snowy Monaro region of New South Wales, Australia. Participants: The intervention group consisted of all residents who died during the study period (April 2018-March 2019), and included a subgroup of decedents who were discussed in a Needs Round. The control cohort included all residents who died in the three-year period prior to introducing Needs Rounds (2015-2017). Intervention: Needs Rounds are monthly onsite triage/risk stratification meetings where case-based education and staff support help to identify residents most at risk of dying without an adequate plan in place. Needs Rounds were attended by residential aged care staff and led by a palliative medicine physician. Main outcome measures: Decedents’ hospitalisations (emergency department presentations, admissions and length of stay) in the last three months of life, place of death and documentation of advance care plans. Results: Eleven Needs Rounds were conducted between April and September 2018. The number of documented advance care plans increased (P <.01). There were no statistically significant changes in hospitalisations or in-hospital deaths. Conclusion: Needs Rounds are an effective approach to increase the documentation of advance care plans within rural residential aged care. Further studies are required to explore the rural influence on outcomes including hospital transfers and preferred place of death.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)480-489
Number of pages10
JournalThe Australian journal of rural health
Volume28
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes

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