The TelePalliative Care Project aims to provide care and support to patients who wish to die at home during the terminal stages of their life. A number of health services across the Wheatbelt chose to participate in this project in order to reduce the number of palliative care patients who wished to die at home but were unable to.
The aim was to provide a telehealth support service using Video Conferencing technology for carers and terminal patients who wished to die at home.
Since the commencement of this project in June 2016, 21 consenting patients and their carers have used their own ICT devices to access the TelePalliative Care service. Patient surveys were done after the initial consultations. A satisfaction survey was also undertaken with health professionals included in the trial.
By June 2017, 75% of patients were supported at home. 13 patients had die - 6 (45 %) died at home, 2 (15%) died in an aged care facility while 5 (39%) died in hospital. 8 patients (38 %) were still alive at the end of the trial period. 84% felt the video quality was of fair or better quality, 90% felt audio quality was fair quality or better. 90% felt the ease of use was fair or better. 92% of patients were very satisfied (66%) or somewhat satisfied (26%)
This trial supports the feasibility of TelePalliative Care in a regional area allowing support for palliative care patients at home. This trial will be expanded in both the Wheatbelt region and other regions in WA with ongoing evaluation.