Wing Chuen Chan and Jan Nichols
New Zealand is a country with an aging population w here the provision and funding of palliative care services are still in its developmental stages . In order for people with terminal or chronically morbid diseases to have access to such services, th e process of provision needs to be coordinated and tailored to the needs of the indivi dual. This study will discuss the principles and difficulties with palliative care coordination by c arrying out an examination of international literature on the importance and effectiveness of v arious palliative care models and interventions that impact on the coordination of palliative care services. Subsequently, evidence-based recommendations are made on how to improve care coo rdination. Additionally, this paper will be complemented by semi-structured interviews and ques tionnaires of health professionals involved in the development of palliative care in N ew Zealand during the time of this study. In conclusion, there is ample evidence on the importan ce of service coordination in palliative care for better patient outcomes and a reduction of burd en on health resources. Studies on a number of palliative care programs and interventions have been published showing variable levels of success in improving the efficiency of palliative c are delivery, patient’s quality of life and the barriers between service provisions. Palliative car e services need to be coordinated to optimize the utilization of health resources, thereby reducin g costs and to allow patients, in their end stages of disease, to have a better quality of life .
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