Electronic palliative care coordination systems: Devising and testing a methodology for evaluating documentation

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

Background:

The need to improve coordination of care at end of life has driven electronic palliative care coordination systems implementation across the United Kingdom and internationally. No approaches for evaluating electronic palliative care coordination systems use in practice have been developed.

Aim:

This study outlines and applies an evaluation framework for examining how and when electronic documentation of advance care planning is occurring in end of life care services.

Design:

A pragmatic, formative process evaluation approach was adopted. The evaluation drew on the Project Review and Objective Evaluation methodology to guide the evaluation framework design, focusing on clinical processes.

Setting/participants:

Data were extracted from electronic palliative care coordination systems for 82 of 108 general practices across a large UK city. All deaths (n = 1229) recorded on electronic palliative care coordination systems between April 2014 and March 2015 were included to determine the proportion of all deaths recorded, median number of days prior to death that key information was recorded and observations about routine data use.

Results:

The evaluation identified 26.8% of all deaths recorded on electronic palliative care coordination systems. The median number of days to death was calculated for initiation of an electronic palliative care coordination systems record (31 days), recording a patient’s preferred place of death (8 days) and entry of Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation decisions (34 days). Where preferred and actual place of death was documented, these were matching for 75% of patients. Anomalies were identified in coding used during data entry on electronic palliative care coordination systems.

Conclusion:

This study reports the first methodology for evaluating how and when electronic palliative care coordination systems documentation is occurring. It raises questions about what can be drawn from routine data collected through electronic palliative care coordination systems and outlines considerations for future evaluation. Future evaluations should consider work processes of health professionals using electronic palliative care coordination systems.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles