The COVID pandemic is disrupting the care of thousands Canadians with life-limiting illnesses who rely on home-based palliative care services to maintain their quality of life.
Some people have used “Virtual visits” (by phone or on-line) to supplement in-person home visits. We urgently need to learn what virtual care is like for clients, their family caregivers and home-care staff, how and when to best use it now and beyond the pandemic.
We are surveying and interviewing clients, family caregivers and health-care providers about their experiences with virtual care. We are also analyzing healthcare databases to compare how homecare delivery changed before and during the pandemic. We will discover the impact on numbers of homecare visits, hospital visits and where people died.
Putting all this information together, we will provide recommendations about using virtual care and how to best support patients with home-based palliative care through this and future pandemics.