End of life care is a difficult subject to approach but a necessary one. For an individual, it has the potential to save unnecessary suffering if delivered appropriately. For the healthcare industry, this can save costs. However, more importantly, it gives patients a chance to articulate their wishes with their family and friends.
The Department of Public Health and Primary Care, together with Trinity Teaching Centre in Ireland, did a study to determine whether an innovative planning tool to prompt end of life discussion and preparation was appropriate for the general population. The group of participants through the five participating general practices were provided the “Think Ahead” tool and surveyed for acceptance and experience. The results indicated high levels of acceptability and positive experience.
Of course, we think that all of our patients should have this tool as well. Patients Know Best has teamed up with the Irish Hospice Foundation to provide this tool to all PKB patients. There will be a new tab called Think Ahead where patients will be able to record their emergency contacts and end of life wishes. With this going into a patient’s PKB record, the entire health care team, including family, will be kept up to date with the patient’s wishes.