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Int J Palliat Nurs. 2002 Dec;8(12):566-73.

An integrated care pathway for the last two days of life: Wales-wide benchmarking in palliative care.

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  • 1North West Wales NHS Trust, Palliative Care Department, Bodfan, Eryri Hospital, Caernarfon, Wales.

Abstract

Functional benchmarking assesses performance and practice across a broad range of settings and carries the potential to effect change in practice. An integrated care pathway (ICP) can assist in the benchmarking process, defining desired outcomes for specific patient groups over a designated time frame. Any variations to the agreed course of care are documented using the 'variance sheet'. This article describes the Wales-wide implementation of an ICP for the last two days of life. The project has enabled an ongoing centralized collection and analysis of variance sheets, which reflect the care of the dying patient in four different care settings crossing the voluntary and statutory sectors. Initial analysis of the first 500 variance sheets to be generated by the ICP for the last two days of life indicates that the management of pain, agitation, excess respiratory secretions and mouth care may be problematic. The same problems were experienced across acute, hospice, specialist inpatient units and community care. Closing the audit cycle involves incorporating the information from the variance analysis into clinical practice.

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PMID:
12560798
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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