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Evidence to Improve Care

Palliative Care

Care for Adults With a Serious Illness

Quality standards are sets of concise statements designed to help health care teams easily and quickly know what care to provide, based on the best evidence.

See below for a summary of the quality standard or download it for more detailed statements.

Download the Quality Standard

Quality Statement 1: Identification and Assessment of Needs
People with a serious illness have their palliative care needs identified early through a comprehensive and holistic assessment.

Quality Statement 2: Timely Access to Palliative Care Support
People with identified palliative care needs have access to palliative care support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Quality Statement 3: Advance Care Planning – Substitute Decision-Maker
People with a serious illness know who their future substitute decision-maker is. They engage in ongoing communication with their substitute decision-maker about their wishes, values, and beliefs, so that the substitute decision-maker is empowered to participate in the health care consent process if required.

Quality Statement 4: Goals-of-Care Discussions and Consent
People with identified palliative care needs or their substitute decision-makers have discussions with their interprofessional health care team about their goals of care to help inform their health care decisions. These values-based discussions focus on ensuring an accurate understanding of both the illness and the treatment options so the person or their substitute decision-maker has the information they need to give or refuse consent to treatment.

Quality Statement 5: Individualized, Person-Centred Care Plan
People with identified palliative care needs collaborate with their primary care provider and other health care professionals to develop an individualized, person-centred care plan that is reviewed and updated regularly.

Quality Statement 6: Management of Pain and Other Symptoms
People with identified palliative care needs have their pain and other symptoms managed effectively, in a timely manner.

Quality Statement 7: Psychosocial Aspects of Care
People with identified palliative care needs receive timely psychosocial support to address their mental, emotional, social, cultural, and spiritual needs.

Quality Statement 8: Education for People With a Serious Illness, Substitute Decision-Makers, Families, and Care Partners
People with a serious illness, their future substitute decision-maker, their family, and their care partners are offered education about palliative care and information about available resources and supports.

Quality Statement 9: Care Partner Support
Families and care partners of people with identified palliative care needs are offered ongoing assessment of their needs, and are given access to resources, respite care, and grief and bereavement support, consistent with their preferences.

Quality Statement 10: Transitions in Care
People with identified palliative care needs experience seamless transitions in care that are coordinated effectively among settings and health care providers.

Quality Statement 11: Setting of Care and Place of Death
People with identified palliative care needs, their substitute decision-maker, their family, and their care partners have ongoing discussions with their health care professionals about their preferred setting of care and place of death.

Quality Statement 12: Interprofessional Team-Based Care
People with identified palliative care needs receive integrated care from an interprofessional team, which includes volunteers.

Quality Statement 13: Education for Health Care Providers and Volunteers
People receive palliative care from health care providers and volunteers who possess the appropriate knowledge and skills to deliver high-quality palliative care.

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