Home-Based Palliative Care

Building Operational Excellence

Management of Equipment Supplies and Medication

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 the safe and effective management of equipment, supplies and medication.

Providing palliative care at home brings with it the complexity of managing medications, supplies and equipment. Effective symptom control is dependent upon good medication management and relies on access to appropriate equipment and appropriate drugs at all times. In addition to medical supplies, home-based palliative care may require equipment such as oxygen supplies, hoists, commodes, bath chairs and beds with pressure relief mattresses.

Home care providers must have operational processes to ensure a safe and accessible place for the storage of medicines, supplies and equipment, and maintain effective inventory management.  Other operational considerations include addressing security and ethical issues associated with the presence of controlled substances in the home and engaging caregivers to administer medications and monitor equipment during the day and night.

Phase 1. Creating Palliative Care Experience Maps

The CHCA is hosting four workshops across Canada (B.C., AB, ON and PEI) to gain a better understanding of the detailed operational practices in four key priority areas in home-based palliative care:

  • Assessment and care planning
  • Inclusion of advance care plans into care delivery
  • Management of equipment supplies and medication
  • Effective communication strategies and tactics

Participants will create a Palliative Care Experience Map that visually shows the key processes, actions, relationships, communications and decisions that are necessary to ensuring accessibility and safety regarding medicines, supplies and equipment to support home-based palliative and end-of-life care.

Following the workshops, the CHCA will conduct an E-Delphi process to gain broader stakeholder input and consensus.  Our goal is to understand the fundamental operational processes, not create one standardized approach.  Each of the four Palliative Experience Maps will form the basis for the next phase of the project – the Call for Innovations in home-based palliative care, that will be launched in mid-August 2018.

Creating a Palliative Care Experience Map

On August 1, 2018 stakeholders from Ontario came together to discuss ways to manage equipment, supplies and mediations in the home setting.

Operational Innovations in Home-Based Palliative Care

Successful innovations featured at the 2018 CHCA Home Care Summits in Charlottetown PEI (Oct 1 & 2) and Vancouver BC (Oct 21 & 22).

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