Business case for outpatient palliative care

What is the rationale behind this plan?

Within the hospital a palliative team has been active for many years. The team consists of a medical specialist, primary care physician, nursing specialist and the manager of the department. According to the team, the palliative care provided within the hospital is sub-optimal. An important reason for this is that palliative care is usually requested only in the final phase of the patient’s life (the last three months). They would like develop much earlier in the process a ‘pro-active palliative care plan’, together with the patient and primary care provider. They wonder how this can best be organised and what the costs and benefits would be from a financial and quality of life perspective.

Development of business case during joint sessions

The team had already gathered a great deal of information and had interviewed those involved internally (particularly specialists). This enabled the project to get off to a quick start. The available information was organised and enriched during four energetic working sessions with the palliative team. Data was also added here from other best practices.

The outlines of the plan were tested internally and supplemented with information from the finance department. The necessary resources were determined, using the Vintura prognosis model. The business case was then written out in a joined process, involving the entire project team.

New outpatient clinic leads to better palliative care

The business case has been approved by the Supervisory Board. This means that the palliative team will be given space in the outpatient clinic to hold consultations for patients who are being treated within the hospital. The new outpatient palliative care is also capable of relieving the emergency department by providing appropriate help to potential palliative care patients who arrive there. Finally, they are going to recruit an extra nursing specialist.

The hospital is extremely satisfied with the results. The quality of palliative care for patients and their relatives has improved substantially.