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Int J Palliat Nurs. 2009 Aug;15(8):384-8.

The implementation of an end-of-life integrated care pathway in a Chinese population.

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Department of Clinical Oncology, Tuen Mun Hospital, Hong Kong.


The integrated care pathway is used in end-of-life care to improve quality of care; the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) has been used in Europe and North America. Tuen Mun Hospital is a regional hospital in Hong Kong, China. The End-of-life Care Pathway (ECP) based on the concepts used in the Liverpool Care Pathway, was developed, with modification to suit the local condition. Criteria for entry onto the ECP were that the multidisciplinary team agreed the patient was dying, and was at least two of the following: bedbound; semi-comatose; only able to take sips of fluid; no longer able to take tablets. The ECP template replaced all other inpatient documents. The ECP was implemented in the palliative care unit for terminal cancer patients. An audit was performed to review the result. Fifty-one Chinese patients were included in the audit with mean age 64. The median duration of ECP use was 24 hours. All patients had current medication assessed and non-essential drugs were discontinued. The audit result suggested integrated care pathway in end-of-life care could be implemented successfully in an Oriental culture. The acceptance of using the ECP as a standard clinical practice takes time and education. Appropriate template design and supervision are the keys to success.

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