Local partnership to improve access to palliative care

News / Patient Care / Patient & family Centred Care / Partnerships / Cancer Care
By Lisa Callahan

Kingston team chosen to participate in the EXTRA program

Facing the challenges of a life-limiting illness is a difficult time for many patients in our area and accessing the services they need to improve their quality of life can be confusing. That is why Kingston General Hospital (KGH) has partnered with Providence Care, and the South East Community Care Access Center to improve the experience of patients receiving palliative care services here in Kingston. 

This new cross institutional team is one of 10 from across the country chosen to participate in the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement’s (CFHI) 2016-17 EXTRA Program.

“We are excited to be working with our partners to build on our local resources and improve patient and family access to the full range of palliative care services available in Kingston,” says Cathy Szabo, CEO of Providence Care. “We recognize that this is a very difficult time in a patient’s care journey so we are committed to designing a system with input from patients and families themselves, to ensure that we meet their needs.”

Over the next fourteen months, the Kingston team will work to establish a centralized intake system for patients who require palliative care services. The aim is to improve access to this important clinical support for patients and improve coordination of services across southeastern Ontario.

During the EXTRA program, the Kingston team will design, implement and create a system that will ensure timely access to high quality care where and when palliative patients need it most.

“Our vision is to develop integrated pathways and care plans along with the centralized intake for patients,” Brenda Carter, Vice-President, Cancer Services, Kingston General Hospital. “This work will enable patients and families to have seamless access to palliative care in the right place, at the right time to improve their quality of life.”

The submission that was accepted by the EXTRA program was a joint effort that also included input and support from the Queen’s Division of Palliative Medicine, Hospice Kingston and the South East Local Health Integration Network. For more than a decade, the EXTRA program has supported 338 healthcare professionals from 134 organizations who have undertaken 211 healthcare improvement projects.