End of Life Care clinical documentation within an Electronic Medical Record: A pilot evaluation in Mid North Coast Local Health District

Alexander Fitzpatrick and Hilal Varinli

Background: The End of Life Care (EoLC) solution provides new software from eHealth NSW that supports clinicians documenting referrals and clinical assessments to support palliative and end of life care for Local Health Districts (LHDs) using the Cerner electronic Medical Record (eMR).

Aims: The pilot sought to collect data on whether the solution was safe and effective, how it could be improved, and whether it was appropriate to be made available to other LHDs.

Methods: The solution was piloted in MNCLHD and evaluated between June to September 2020, with data collected using quantitative and qualitative methods.

Results: The solution was adopted rapidly and widely, especially by Palliative Care specialist staff. Staff were broadly satisfied with impacts to clinical and data management workflows. The data quality of reporting submissions remained broadly similar. While improvements were noted, requesting and completing a Palliative Care consult, as well as maintaining patient lists, are challenging workflows. Appropriate resourcing of data management focused staff to support clinicians was noted as being critical to both project implementation as well as effective ongoing data management.

Conclusion: Enhancement suggestions and concerns raised during the evaluation process will be reviewed and raised with the solution’s governance group. Pending further positive results from a second pilot site in Northern Sydney LHD in December 2020, the solution will be offered to other LHDs in 2021.