Health practitioners and services are facing new challenges each day with respect to an ever expanding information base and the requirements for accountable and effective practice. Patients, carers and families also have difficulties in finding relevant and reliable information regarding their health and care. For those working in or affected by palliative care, these issues can be more complex due to the care needs and wishes of those with a life-limiting illness and their families and carers.

The Knowledge Network Project commenced on 1 July 2006 and will run until mid 2009. It aims to provide a one-stop shop of information and practical resources that serves the needs of all providing palliative care or affected by palliative care. It will also enable and support interactions between individuals and networks of people so that they can develop, share and apply their knowledge to improve palliative care in Australia. The Knowledge Network is intended to provide an effective and efficient way of supporting the development of evidence dissemination of information to support the translation of this evidence into practice and to prevent duplication of effort around Australia.

To achieve these objectives, the Knowledge Network has been designed as an online resource, the CareSearch palliative care knowledge network website. This website consolidates evidence for palliative care, enables access to the evidence and encourages its use in practice. The evidence is also used in evaluating quality resources for patients, carers and families and in developing web pages and new functions.