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The views and opinions expressed in our blog series are those of the authors and are not necessarily supported by CareSearch, Flinders University and/or the Australian Government Department of Health.
COVID-19 presents an unprecedented challenge for patients, carers, and health professionals, especially for those providing home-based palliative care to patients. Professor Liz Reymond Director at Brisbane South Palliative Care Collaborative and Deputy Director at Metro South Palliative Care Service discusses the new caring@home packages for carers to support them to help manage symptoms in home-based palliative care patients and limit the risk of community COVID-19 transmission.
Health professionals working in hospitals are faced with several barriers when implementing evidence based practice in end-of-life care, including the amount of evidence to read and the lack of time to appraise it. To help overcome these barriers, Deb Rawlings and Jane Durbridge from the End-of-Life Essentials project discuss how a free practice change toolkit can assist in bringing about positive changes at the point of care.
Many health professionals would like to help patients with advance care planning. However, most of them need more training and support to improve their skills and confidence. Linda Nolte of Advance Care Planning Australia (ACPA) writes how their free online courses can help upskill and build the confidence of health professionals in this important area.
Online health information is available and accessible almost instantaneously; in Australia this is true for most individuals with internet connections, from any digital device. Sourcing evidence-based research and information regarding health is crucial in informing decision making, improving knowledge and skills, and guiding service choices and clinical practice for health professionals and care workers. Virtual health resources are widely used in clinical care settings; individuals routinely search online for answers to health-related queries, which may assist their ability to appropriately service others in their care. For individuals working in aged care, accessing online information facilitates timely answers to their queries or may contribute to their ongoing professional education. Health professionals and care workers are also well-positioned to refer their clients or patients to trustworthy, reputable, and up-to-date online health resources.