Over the years, many of our clients have conveyed "good news" stories about how PalCare has impacted their service. Here are just a few examples:
Goulburn Valley Hospice Care is a community palliative care service that covers a 2500 square kilometre area in Victoria, a large portion of which is rural. Since introducing PalCare, they have found that updating patient information whilst on the road has meant that, should a patient then phone the office, up to date information is immediately available to hospice staff taking the call. Similarly, if a patient is to be transferred to hospital, hospice staff can provide the hospital with a comprehensive patient summary. This summary can arrive at the hospital before the patient even arrives.
“It’s all around saving the patient telling their story 50 times… They (the hospital) can get so much information off our admission they don’t have to ask the patient again and again and again.”
The on-call service has seen major improvements for staff and for patients. Instead of taking two suitcases of paper histories home when on call, the nurse now needs to only take a laptop. This is a vast improvement in terms of OH&S and in terms of the security of patient information.
GVHC has found the support from PalCare invaluable: “they are always at the end of the phone when we need them. That’s always comforting to know.”
Hospice Southland was looking for an integrated electronic patient management system that was designed primarily for palliative care. They found PalCare.
They have found that multidisciplinary care and communication has been enhanced since using PalCare. “It is great to see that any member of our multidisciplinary team can go in and see what the other people have been putting in and the information sharing within our organisation is just so good.” They have also found that their multidisciplinary team meetings are much more effective, as staff “go to their meetings now with their laptops … so we have a pharmacist, district nurses, the community team, the doctor and they’re all sitting there with their laptops and they are all looking at the same patient but someone can be looking at the care plan and the doctor has the medication up and they all have their input… They can all share those notes at the one time and have that discussion.”
The benefits of PalCare have been recognised by Hospice Southland’s accreditors. After commencing using PalCare, they gained their first two “continuous improvement” notations for their documentation. “We never got the continuous improvement with our paper notes so it was (PalCare) that got us that achievement.”
Eastern Palliative Care is the largest single community palliative care service in Victoria. They assisted in the development of PalCare from the start. Prior to implementing PalCare, all patient notes were paper-based. This system was laborious and time consuming, which limited the number of patients that staff could see in a day.
Nurses on call would have to take a bulky folder home, that contained only an extract of information from each patient’s file. If they were called out to see a patient overnight, they had incomplete information to base their clinical care and decisions on.
PalCare solved both of these problems.
PalCare has also meant that using audit as a tool for continuous improvement has been enhanced. Instead of manually searching through piles of paper records, audit reports are now generated in a few clicks.
EPC states that “we love it and are very proud of it.”
Mary Potter Hospice have taken advantage of the ability to give local GPs access to their own patients on PalCare (the "primary care initiative" in the following case study). As told by one of their staff members:
"Families are also our patients and they are getting enhanced care because of the primary care initiative. For example, a patient story was that the patient who was in our service and was really, really ill and her husband was manifesting lots of physical complaints and was at his GP and a lot of it was definitely the strain and the worry impacting on him and the GP was able to go into the wife's notes on PalCare, without showing him or breaking confidentiality, and was able to explain exactly where everything was at, to this guy, in words that he could understand, from a clinician he had known for years and trusted, which is the beauty of the primary care initiative and the husband was just so much better."