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Action being taken by Wilfrid Laurier professor to evaluate palliative care

The Canadian Press Images/Bayne Stanley

With the help from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Professor Dawn Guthrie at WLU is leading a national effort to evaluate palliative home care.

Guthrie received a grant for just over 300 thousand dollars to lead the project that would develop and test quality indicators for the home care of seriously ill and palliative patient.

She says the project will be in partnership with a number of universities, health-care organizations, and governments from across the country.

“As part of the project there will be a number of expert panels where we will be speaking with clinicians, families, patients, and Ministry of Health representatives about what they think we should measure. We then use that exciting data to try and create quality indicators.”

Guthrie says there are a number of indicators they will be looking at.

“Things like pain, shortness of breath, falls, depression and loneliness. Those things that are experienced by people when they are seriously ill and dying and that we would really, ideally, try to prevent.”

The ultimate goal of the project is to develop a standardized set of quality indicators that can be reported as percentages so health professionals can make changes in order to improve the quality of care they provide.

As for palliative care in Waterloo Region— a new Hospice Care Centre is set to open in North Waterloo in 2019.