A palliative care case conference provides an opportunity to coordinate and plan care for a person who has six months or less to live.
Changing care needs, symptom concerns, family issues and the need for coordination among providers can also signal the need for a case conference.
This is one of the three care processes.
Indicators for a Palliative Care Case Conference
A palliative home care case conference is recommended for older people who the healthcare team estimates have a prognosis of six months or less to live.
One of the first indicators that can provide guidance on when to consider a palliative care case conference is the simple screening question called the 'The Surprise Question':
‘Would I be surprised if the person dies within the next six months?'
If you wouldn't be surprised if the person died in the next few months, consider a case conference.
If the answer to this question isn’t clear, then other things that may prompt consideration of a case conference include:
- Sudden decline or deterioration in the older person’s health.
- The older person wishes to clarify how their care needs will be met if they get sicker.
- The older person and/or their substitute decision maker express a wish to seek comfort care rather than curative disease management.
Any triggers that have highlighted the need for a case conference should be carefully addressed during the case conference.
Page updated 23 May 2017