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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.
An essential first step in our ELDAC journey was to identify the needs and challenges currently experienced by aged care providers when delivering palliative care and advance care planning. From QUT, we distributed an online survey to aged care services via the mailing lists of the peak bodies – LASA, ACSA and CHA.
It’s long been recognised that access to high quality palliative care in Australia is variable. Many Australians face difficulties in receiving palliative care due to factors such as system fragmentation, gaps in service provision, geographic scarcity of services or health professionals, access barriers for vulnerable populations and those living in residential aged care facilities, system navigation issues, low confidence of health workers in providing care to those living with a life limiting condition and limited community understanding of what palliative care is.
In health care the role of evidence in decision making is recognised by health care practitioners and providers, and relates to understanding the balance between the potential benefits and harms of any practice, treatment or intervention. Dr Katrina Erny-Albrecht of CareSearch discusses the importance of independent, critical appraisal and synthesis of evidence into reliable, practical guidance for recipients and providers of care.
Health care professionals agree that the quality of care provided in the emergency department for dying patients and their families is often not as good as it needs to be. Dr Tracy Giles of Flinders University explains how her research into the experiences of family members will help to identify what is working well already and areas of care that need improvement, and how you can become involved.