CONTEXT: Low utilization of palliative care services warrant the development and testing of new solutions to educate and engage patients around the benefits of palliative care.
OBJECTIVES: We sought out to develop and test a novel, mobile health solution to prepare patients for an upcoming outpatient palliative care appointment.
METHODS: After developing a web-based tool called PCforMe (Palliative Care for Me), we conducted a randomized, active-controlled, trial of PCforMe. The primary outcome was the score on the System Usability Scale (SUS). Secondary outcomes were patient self-efficacy (measured by PEPPI) and change in knowledge (measured by a questionnaire). We compared PCforMe to three common online resources for patients seeking information about specialty palliative care.
RESULTS: 80 patients were randomized. There were no significant demographic differences. Mean SUS score for PCforMe was 78.2, significantly above the normative average SUS score of 68 (p-value<0.0001). Mean change in PEPPI score was -2.2 for PCforMe vs -1.7 for control group (p-value=0.72). Preparedness for an upcoming palliative care visit increased 50% in the intervention group versus 13.3% in the control group. Difference in the number of patients with improved knowledge regarding palliative care approached significance (p=0.06). Lastly, we found the no-show rate lower during Q1 2017 (during trial) versus Q1 2016 (before trial), at 11.7% versus 21% (p<0.05). Comparing the full calendar year 2016 versus 2017, we did not find a statistical difference (CY 2016 of 18.8% versus 15% in CY 2017; p=0.22).
CONCLUSION: PCforMe is a usable mobile health tool to educate and prepare patients for an upcoming palliative care appointment. Further research is needed to test effectiveness.
Breathlessness is one of the most common symptoms experienced at the end of life, affecting all areas of a patient's life. It is frightening and leads to high rates of emergency hospital attendances. Often, there is no easily reversible cause and patients are admitted to the acute medical unit (AMU) in order to manage their symptoms with little overall benefit - frustrating patients and clinicians alike. This review reminds the generalist of the significance of breathlessness as a symptom. It highlights the management strategies available to effect improvement and gives practical tips on how this can be achieved within the busy and time-pressured environment of the AMU.
Introduction: This study assessed the views of nurses, resident doctors, and attending physicians of the use of a readily available pain and palliative care specialty at their institution while assessing their ability to recognize terminal noncancer illnesses.
Methodology: In community hospital consisting of an in-patient pain and palliative specialty, attending physicians, residents, and nurses participate in a survey highlighting the following: parameters for referral/consultation, definition of noncancer-related terminal illnesses, role of pain and palliative care in acute care, consult/referral delay, barriers to effective referral, recognition and withdrawal of futile care, and opioid prescription. Patterns of responses by each professional group were compared and contrasted.
Results: The most common accepted reasons for referral were that of hospice care, terminal cancer, and uncontrolled pain, while reasons related to terminal noncancer illnesses were less accepted. A majority of approved physical and social parameters to define terminal noncancer illnesses were not universally accepted among the groups-especially among attendings and residents. While most participants agreed that the best time to refer to palliative care specialty was at the point of diagnosis of a terminal illness, >25% of participants from each group felt that referrals should be done later in the course of the illness. The most highlighted reasons expressed by attendings and residents for the delay in consult were either that of excessive withdrawal of modalities of care or interference with ongoing management that may benefit the patient. Most residents and nurses agreed that attendings' reluctance to consult is a major barrier to its utilization.
Conclusion: Barriers to effective utilization are multifactorial, mostly relating to perceptions of the specialty as well as ineffective communication within specialties.
BACKGROUND: Patients with terminal conditions are often admitted to the emergency department (ED) for acute medical services, but studies have suggested that multiple ED admissions may negatively impact end-of-life (EOL) care. Research have shown that incorporating palliative care (PC) is integral to optimal EOL care, but it is an aspect of medical practice that is often neglected. The current study sought to provide an overview of health outcomes and hospital costs of patients with cancer admitted to The Ottawa Hospital and/or received acute medical services during their final 2 weeks of life. Cost comparisons and estimates were made between hospital and hospice expenditures.
METHODS: We conducted a retrospective chart review of palliative patients who died at The Ottawa Hospital in 2012. A total of 130 patients who visited the ED within 2 weeks of death were included in the analyses.
RESULTS: In this cohort of patients, 71% of admitted patients did not have advanced care directives and 85% experienced a metastasis, but only 18% had a PC medical doctor. Patients were hospitalized, on average, for 7 days and hospitalization costs exceeded the estimated hospice cost by approximately 2.5 times (Can$1 041 170.00 at Can$8009.00/patient vs Can$401 570.00 at Can$3089.00/patient, respectively).
CONCLUSION: Our study highlighted the importance of PC integration in high-risk patients, such as those in oncology. Patients in our sample had minimal PC involvement, low advanced care directives, and accrued high costs. Based on our analyses, we concluded that these patients would have likely benefited more from hospice care rather than hospitalization.
Hospitals play an important role in the care of patients with advanced cancer: nearly half of all cancer deaths occur in acute-care settings. The need for increasing access to palliative care and related support services for patients with cancer in acute-care hospitals is therefore growing. Here, we examine how often and how early in their illness patients with cancer might be receiving palliative care services in the 2 years before their death in an acute-care hospital in Canada. The palliative care code from inpatient administrative databases was used as a proxy for receiving, or being referred for, palliative care. Currently, the palliative care code is the only data element routinely collected from patient charts that allows for the tracking of palliative care activity at a pan-Canadian level. Our findings suggest that most patients with cancer who die in an acute-care hospital receive a palliative designation; however, many of those patients are identified as palliative only in their final admission before death. Of the patients who received a palliative designation before their final admission, nearly half were identified as palliative less than 2 months before death. Findings signal that delivery of services within and between jurisdictions is not consistent, that the palliative care needs of some patients are being missed by physicians, and that palliative care is still largely seen as end-of-life care and is not recognized as an integral component of cancer care. Measuring the provision of system-wide palliative care remains a challenge because comprehensive national data about palliative care are not currently reported from all sectors. To advance measurement and reporting of palliative care in Canada, attention should be focused on collecting comparable data from regional and provincial palliative care programs that individually capture data about palliative care delivery in all health care sectors.
OBJECTIVE: Implementation of patient-reported outcome measures for patients with palliative care needs is characterized by both enablers and barriers. The ways in which healthcare professionals experience the use of assessment tools is important. Our aims were to explore factors contributing to or hindering patients with palliative care needs in assessing their symptoms with the Integrated Palliative Care Outcome Scale (IPOS) and to explore healthcare professionals' experiences of the use of IPOS in acute care settings.
METHOD: Data were collected as a part of the evaluation of the feasibility of an implementation strategy for introducing IPOS. Data from three participating acute care units were included. We used descriptive and analytical statistics; a qualitative content analysis was also performed. RESULT: A total of 309 patients were eligible to be offered assessment of symptoms with IPOS. Of these 69 (22%) had completed IPOS. A significant positive association was found between healthcare professionals' participation in training sessions and completed IPOS. The experiences of IPOS were split into two categories: "IPOS acting as a facilitator" and "barriers to the use of IPOS." The use of IPOS was described as contributing to person-centered care of patients with palliative care needs and inspiration to improved routines. Healthcare professionals' feelings of uncertainty about how to approach severely ill patients and their family members appear to have hindered their use of IPOS.
SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS: We found an association between healthcare professionals' participation in training sessions and patients who completed IPOS, indicating the need for a high degree of attendance at the training to achieve successful implementation. The healthcare professionals expressed feelings of insecurity concerning the use of IPOS indicating a need for further education and clinical support in its use of IPOS. Nevertheless, use of IPOS was considered to contribute to improved care of patients with palliative care needs.
Background: Patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) and patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are amenable to integrated palliative care (PC); however, despite the recommendation by various healthcare organizations, these patients have limited access to integrated PC services. In this study, we present the protocol of a feasibility prospective study that aims to explore if an "early integrated PC" intervention can be performed in an acute setting (cardiology and pulmonology wards) and whether it will have an effect on (i) the satisfaction of care and (ii) the quality of life and the level of symptom control of CHF/COPD patients and their informal caregivers.
Methods: A before-after intervention study with three phases, (i) baseline phase where the control group receives standard care, (ii) training phase where the personnel is trained on the application of the intervention, and (iii) intervention phase where the intervention is applied, will be carried out in cardiology and pulmonology wards in the University Hospital Leuven for patients with advanced CHF/COPD and their informal caregivers. Eligible patients (both control and intervention group) and their informal caregivers will be asked to complete the Palliative Outcome Scale, the CANHELP Lite, and the Advance Care Planning Questionnaire at the inclusion moment and 3 months after hospital discharge.
Discussion: The present study will assess the feasibility of carrying out PC-focused studies in acute wards for CHF/COPD patients and draw lessons for the further integration of PC alongside standard treatment. Further, it will measure the quality of life and quality of care of patients and thus shed light on the care needs of this population. Finally, it will evaluate the potential efficacy of the "early integrated palliative care" by comparing against existing practices..
Objective: the aim of this study was to map end-of-life care in acute hospital settings against Elements 1-5 of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care's (ACSQHC) Essential Elements for Safe and High-Quality End-of-Life Care.
Methods: A retrospective medical record audit of deceased in-patients was conducted from 2016 at one public (n = 320) and one private (n = 132) hospital in Melbourne, Australia. Ten variables, key to end-of-life care according to the ACSQHC's Elements 1-5 were used to evaluate end-of-life care.
Results: Most patients (87.2%) had a limitation of medical treatment. In 91.97% (P < 0.0001) of cases, a written entry indicating poor prognosis preceded a documented decision to provide end-of-life care, with a documented decision noted in 81.1% of cases (P < 0.0001). Evidence of pastoral care involvement was found in 41.6% of cases (P < 0.0001), with only 33.1% of non-palliative care patients referred to specialist palliative care personnel (P = 0.059). An end-of-life care pathway was used in 51.1% of cases (P < 0.0001).
Conclusion: There is clear scope for improvement in end-of-life care provision. Health services need to mandate and operationalise Elements 1-5 of the ACSQHC's Essential Elements into care systems and processes, and ensure nationally consistent, high-quality end-of-life care.What is known about the topic? Acute care settings provide the majority of end-of-life care. Despite the ACSQHC's Ten Essential Elements, little is known about whether current end-of-life care practices align with recommendations. What does this paper add? There is room for improvement in providing patient-centred care, increasing family involvement and teamwork, describing and enacting goals of care and using triggers to prompt care. Differences between public and private hospitals may be the result of differences in standard practice or policy and differences in cultural diversity.What are the implications for practitioners? The Essential Elements need to be mandated and operationalised into mainstream care systems and processes as a way of ensuring safe and high-quality end-of-life care.
Formal communication of end-of-life preferences is crucial among patients with metastatic cancer. Our objective is to describe the prevalence of advance directives (AD) and do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders among stage IV cancer patients with acute care surgery consultations, and the associated outcomes. This is a single institution retrospective review over an eight-year period. Two hundred and three patients were identified; mean age was 55.3 ± 11.4 years and 48.8 per cent were male. Fifty (24.6%) patients underwent exploratory surgery. Nineteen (10.6%) patients had another type of surgery. Twenty-one (10.3%) patients had a DNR order, and none had an AD on-admission. Fifty-four (26.6%) patients had a DNR order placed and four (2%) patients completed an AD postadmission. DNR postadmission was associated with the highest mortality at 42.6 per cent compared with 14.3 per cent for DNR on-admission and 1.56 per cent for full-code patients (P < 0.001). Compared with patients that remained full-code and those with DNR on-admission, DNR postadmission was associated with longer length of stay (19.6 days; P < 0.001) and ICU length of stay (7.72 days; P < 0.001). The prevalence of AD and DNR orders among stage IV cancer patients is low. The higher in-hospital mortality of patients with DNR postadmission reflects the use of DNR orders during clinical decline.
BACKGROUND: There is a heterogeneous literature on healthcare utilization patterns at the end of life. The objective of this study is to examine the impact of closeness to death on the utilization of acute hospital-based healthcare services and some primary healthcare services and compare differences in gender, age groups and major causes of death disease specific mortality.
METHODS: A matched case-control study, nested in a cohort of 411,812 subjects, linked to administrative databases was conducted. All subjects were residents in the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region (Italy), born before 1946, alive in January 2000 and were followed up to December 2014. Overall, 158,571 decedents/cases were matched by gender and year of birth to one control, alive at least one year after their matched case's death (index-date). Hospital admissions, emergency department visits, drug prescriptions, specialist visits and laboratory tests that occurred 365 days before death/index-date, have been evaluated. Odds Ratios (ORs) for healthcare utilization were estimated through conditional regression models, further adjusted for Charlson Comorbidity Index and stratified by gender, age groups and major causes of death.
RESULTS: Decedents were significantly more likely of having at least one hospital admission (OR 7.0, 6.9-7.1), emergency department visit (OR 5.2, 5.1-5.3), drug prescription (OR 2.8, 2.7-2.9), specialist visit (OR 1.4, 1.4-1.4) and laboratory test (OR 2.7, 2.6-2.7) than their matched surviving counterparts. The ORs were generally lower in the oldest age group (95+) than in the youngest (55-74). Healthcare utilization did not vary by sex, but was higher in subjects who died of cancer.
CONCLUSION: Closeness to death appeared to be strongly associated with healthcare utilization in adult/elderly subjects. The risk seems to be greater among younger age groups than older ones, especially for acute based services. Reducing acute healthcare at the EOL represents an important issue to improve the quality of life in proximity to death.
BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Although Alzheimer disease and other dementias are life limiting, only a minority of these patients or their proxy decision makers participate in advance care planning. We describe end-of-life care preferences and acute care and hospice use in the last 6 months of life for persons enrolled in a comprehensive dementia care management program.
DESIGN: Observational, retrospective cohort.
SETTING: Urban, academic medical center.
PARTICIPANTS: A total of 322 persons enrolled in dementia care management after July 1, 2012, who died before July 1, 2016.
INTERVENTION: Dementia care comanagement model using nurse practitioners partnered with primary care providers and community organizations to provide comprehensive dementia care, including advance care planning.
MEASUREMENTS: Advance care preferences, use of Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST), hospice enrollment, and hospitalizations and emergency department (ED) visits in the last 6 months of life obtained from electronic health record data.
RESULTS: Nearly all decedents (99.7%, N = 321) had a goals-of-care conversation documented (median = 3 conversations; interquartile range = 2-4 conversations), and 64% had advance care preferences recorded. Among those with recorded preferences, 88% indicated do not resuscitate, 48% limited medical interventions, and 35% chose comfort-focused care. Most patients (89%) specified limited artificial nutrition, including withholding feeding tubes. Over half (54%) had no hospitalizations or ED visits in the last 6 months of life, and intensive care unit stays were rare (5% of decedents). Overall, 69% died on hospice. Decedents who had completed a POLST were more likely to die in hospice care (74% vs 62%; P = .03) and die at home (70% vs 59%; P = .04).
CONCLUSIONS: Enrollees in a comprehensive dementia care comanagement program had high engagement in advance care planning, high rates of hospice use, and low acute care utilization near the end of life. Wider implementation of such programs may improve end-of-life care for persons with dementia.
Purpose: The aim of this study was to compare symptom expression in advanced cancer patients with depression and anxiety and in patients with no such symptoms.
Methods: Secondary analysis of a previous study assessing the role of an acute palliative supportive care unit (APSCU) in a comprehensive cancer center. Patients completed the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS) at admission (T0) and 7 days after or at discharge (T7).
Results: Three hundred-fourteen consecutive cancer patients admitted to the APSCU were surveyed. Eighty-six and 66 patients improved their level of depression and anxiety, respectively (passing from = 4 to 0â€“3, from T0 to T7), after that palliative care intervention resulted in a significant improvement of the other symptoms. Changes were statistically significant for both symptoms (P < 0.0005). Patients admitted for uncontrolled pain were more likely to be anxious, while patients admitted for other symptoms or end-of-life care were more likely to be depressed. The presence of anxiety and depression (= 4/10 on ESAS) was significantly associated with a higher level of symptom expression at admission and at T7 (P < 0.0005). In patients presenting both psychological symptoms, symptom expression was significantly more relevant in comparison with patients not reporting moderate-severe psychological symptoms. Pain and depression were independently associated with anxiety at T0. Variables independently associated with depression at T0 were drowsiness, appetite, and anxiety.
Conclusions: Psychological symptoms of ESAS concur to hyper-express some symptoms and make symptom control more difficult. A clear association between anxiety and depression exists.
BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to examine, by means of a postal questionnaire, the experience of all grades of doctors caring for patients dying in an acute hospital in Scotland.
METHOD: A postal questionnaire was sent to 306 doctors working in inpatient medical and surgical specialties, emergency medicine, anaesthetics and intensive care medicine in an acute hospital.
RESULTS: There was an overall 41% response rate (127/306). Of responding doctors 55% had cared for 10 or more patients in the previous year. A quarter of respondents had personal experience of bereavement outside of clinical practice within the previous year. A total of 65% of responding doctors agreed that their most memorable patient death had had a strong emotional impact upon them. Responding doctors reported benefit from peer support. There was no association between length of time as a doctor and difficulty rating for talking to patients about death (p-value: 0.203). There was no association between difficulty rating and length of time working as a doctor when talking to relatives about death and dying (p-value: 0.205). We considered the questionnaire responses in relation to Scottish Government policy and initiatives associated with the care of the dying, and the future training and support of doctors caring for this group of patients and their relatives.
CONCLUSION: Doctors describe similar experiences in terms of communication difficulties and emotional effects of caring for dying patients irrespective of their length of time working as a doctor.
Introduction: Delirium is common in palliative care. It effects up to 88% of patients with advanced cancer at end of life and has a point prevalence of 20% in the acute hospital setting across all diagnoses. It is under diagnosed and not optimally treated. â€œMonths of the Year Backwardsâ€ (MOTYB) is an ideal screening tool for delirium with a sensitivity of 83.8%. It is brief to perform and carries low burden for patients. The aim of this study is to investigate the use of MOTYB as a screening tool for delirium in palliative care patients in the acute hospital setting.
Methods: All patients who were referred to the hospital palliative care team in September 2016 were screened.
Results: Forty five patients were screened using MOTYB. Fifteen patients (33%) screened positive for delirium.
Conclusion: MOTYB is a simple screening tool that was easily integrated into practice in a hospital service. It has the potential to identify missed cases of delirium and therefore improve management and ultimately patient outcomes.
Individuals with chronic heart failure have high utilisation of hospital-related services towards the end of life and receive treatments that provide symptom relief without improving life expectancy. The aim of this discussion paper is to determine chronic heart failure patients' use of acute hospital-based services in their last year of life and to discuss the potential for palliative care to reduce service utilisation. A systematic search of the literature was conducted. Medline, Cumulative Index for Nursing and Allied Health (CINAHL) and SCOPUS databases were used to systematically search for literature from database commencement to September 2016. Specific inclusion criteria and search terms were used to identify relevant studies on heart failure patients' use of hospital services in their last year of life. There were 12 studies that evaluated the use of hospital-based services by chronic heart failure patients at the end of life. In all studies, it was found that chronic heart failure patients used acute hospital-based services as death approached. However, only two studies examined if palliative care consultations were obtained by patients, and neither study assessed the impact that these consultations had on service utilisation in the last year of life. Heart failure negatively impacts health status, and this is a predictor of service utilisation. Further research is needed to determine the efficacy of both primary and secondary palliative care in reducing resource use towards the end of life and improving the quality of end of life care.
Les questions que nous posons ici prennent leur support et leur sens à partir de cette fonction clinique propre à toute Equipe Mobile de Soins Palliatifs (EMSP) en milieu hospitalier : répondre aux équipes curatives qui demandent le passage de patients en Unités de Soins Palliatifs (USP). Exerçant en Unités de Soins Palliatifs, en Equipe Mobile de Soins Palliatifs et en service de soins aigus, nous vivons la complexité et la spécificité de chaque demande de transfert en Unité de Soins Palliatifs.
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AIM:: The main aim of this study was to investigate family member's experiences of communicating with health professionals (HP) during end-of-life care in acute medical wards and a nursing home.
METHODS:: A qualitative approach using 19 semi-structured interviews to collect data was used. The text was analysed using a content analysis methodology, extracting content that reflected family member's experiences of end-of-life care in acute medical wards, and a nursing home in Iceland.
RESULTS:: Four themes were identified as contributing to favourable communication with HPs in end-of-life care: establishing a relationship; flow of information; environment; acceptance at the time of death.
CONCLUSION:: Findings suggested that the context of communication in end-of-life care is more than just a conversation. It includes health professional's appearances, decision-making and respect. Satisfactory communication is a necessary factor of quality of care and the fundamental aspect of the establishment of a positive interpersonal relationship.
AIM: The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between delirium and symptom expression in patients with advanced cancer admitted to an acute supportive/palliative care unit (ASPCU).
METHODS: A consecutive sample of patients with advanced cancer who were admitted to an ASPCU was prospectively assessed for a period of 10 months. The Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS) and the MDAS (Memorial Delirium Assessment Scale) were measured at admission (T0) and after 7 days of palliative care (T7).
RESULTS: Two hundred forty-six patients had complete data regarding MDAS measurements, at either T0 and T7. Of these, 75 (30.5%) and 63 patients (25.6%) had delirium at T0 and after a week of palliative care (T7), with a decrease in the frequency of delirium of 4.9% (from 30.5% to 25.6%); that means that 16% of patients with delirium improved their cognitive status after initiation of palliative care. Intensities of pain, depression, poor well-being, and global ESAS were significantly higher in patients with delirium. Patients who did not have delirium at T0 but developed delirium during admission after 1 week of palliative care had a higher level of symptom expression for pain, weakness, nausea, anxiety, dyspnea, appetite, and consequently global ESAS. Patients who did not develop delirium at any time had a relevant decrease in intensity of all ESAS items after 1 week of palliative care. The decrease of symptom intensity was significant for pain, insomnia, appetite, poor well-being, and global ESAS in patients with delirium either at T0 and T7, although these differences were less relevant than those observed in patients without delirium. In patients with delirium at T0 who improved their cognitive function at T7 (no delirium), significant changes were found in most ESAS items.
CONCLUSION: Symptom expression is amplified in patients with delirium, whereas patients without delirium may be more responsive to palliative treatments with a significant decrease in intensity of ESAS items.
IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Symptom expression is amplified in patients with cancer who have delirium, whereas patients without delirium may be more responsive to palliative treatments with a significant decrease in symptom intensity.
Community-based day programs for frail older adults and their family caregivers, such as Adult Day Services (ADS), play a growing role in post-acute and hospice care transitions. ADS options, however, are often overlooked in hospital and emergency department discharge planning as well as in hospice and palliative care referrals. Lack of knowledge about and connectivity with ADS programs and the range of services that individual centers provide can impede comprehensive discharge planning and limit post-acute or palliative/hospice care options for frail older adults and their family caregivers.
BACKGROUND: End-of-life care (EoLC) is an experience that touches the lives of everyone. Dying in an acute hospital is a common occurrence in developed countries across the world. Previous studies have shown that there is wide variation in EoLC and at times is experienced as being of poor quality. Assessing and measuring the quality of care provided is a key component of all healthcare systems. This paper reports on the qualitative analysis of open-ended free text questions that were asked as part of a post-bereavement survey conducted in two adult acute hospitals in Ireland.
METHODS: This was a quantitative descriptive post-bereavement postal survey, gathering data retrospectively from relatives or friends of patients who died, utilising an adapted version of the VOICES (Views of Informal Carers - Evaluation of Services) questionnaire. VOICES MaJam has 29 core questions, seven questions requesting personal demographic information and four open-ended questions gathering descriptive data about the care experience during the patient's last admission to hospital. A total of 356 valid questionnaires were returned. Qualitative data were managed, coded and analysed with NVivo 10, using a template analysis framework approach.
RESULTS: Three quarters (75%: n = 268) responded to at least one of the open-ended questions. Several key themes emerged, indicating areas that require particular attention in EoLC. Two themes relate to how care needs are met and how the hospital environment has a critical influence on EoLC experiences. The remaining three themes relate more to the interpersonal context including whether patients are treated with dignity and respect, the psychological, emotional and spiritual needs of patients and their family members and communication.
CONCLUSIONS: Acute hospitals need to ensure that patients and their relatives receive high quality EoLC. Seeking the views of bereaved relatives should be considered by all hospitals and healthcare settings to ascertain the quality of care at end of life. This study contributes to our understanding and knowledge of what good EoLC looks like and where care can be improved, thus enabling hospitals to direct and inform quality improvement.