eHealth Observatory


End-of-Life/Palliative Care

Project: A Knowledge Translation Project on Benchmark End-of-Life Care Practices for the Elderly in Primary Care
Status: In Progress

The purpose of this project is to 1) assess the current state in BC regarding end-of-life (EOL) care for elderly patients with advanced illness, 2) determine best practices in EOL care and package them into a set of proposed best practices involving integration of EOL practice support tools into electronic medical records (EMRs), 3) disseminate the proposed best practices, and 4) evaluate the impact providers and patient outcomes. This project is a collaborative effort among a team of health informatics researchers at the University of Victoria (UVic), the Fraser Health Authority (FHA), and primary care physicians practicing in British Columbia (BC) (who practice within regions covered by other health authorities in BC). The primary research question is: can the palliative approach that is integrated into the electronic medical record (EMR) of primary care physicians enhance EOL care in ways that are measurable, scalable and sustainable?

      This project consists of four stages:
    1. Assess current EOL practice and identify requirements for best practices in EOL care
    2. Design the set of proposed best practices for EMR-supported EOL care
    3. Disseminate the proposed best practices at physician office sites
    4. Evaluate the impact of the proposed best practices

A variety of data collection activities will be undertaken throughout the project including interviews, workflow inspections, EMR data reviews, and focus groups.

This research is funded by the Technology Evaluation in the Elderly Network, which is supported by the Government of Canada through the Networks of Centres of Excellence program.