Poster Title: Improving Provider Usability of Telehealth in Palliative Care.

Presenter: Marie Guthrie, DNP, RN, PHN

Project Objective: Increase access to palliative care in rural California through telehealth.

Over 500,000 people in California need palliative care services, but less than 1% have access to it. Reasons for poor access to palliative care include insufficient technology to support telehealth, a deficiency of telehealth skills, and an absence of telehealth guidelines. Evidence shows that telehealth can reduce healthcare disparities and improve the quality of life for seriously ill people by increasing their access to care.

A community-based palliative care organization in Northern California sought to improve provider usability of telehealth through videoconferencing and increase access to palliative care to those that would otherwise go without. A project for translating evidence-based guidelines for using telehealth in palliative care was implemented to improve provider’s use of telehealth in palliative care and increase the number of visits done through videoconference versus in-person. Palliative care providers completed the Telehealth Usability Questionnaire, received education and applied the National Hospice and Palliative Care (NHPC) guidelines for using telehealth over an eight-week period. A statistical analysis using a paired t-test was used to analyze for improvements in telehealth usability, and the percentage of telehealth visits compared to in-person visits was examined pre- and post-implementation. The project is useful to inform palliative care practice for increasing access to care in remote areas through telehealth and reducing the burden of suffering for seriously ill people in rural California.

POSTER CONTACT: Marie Guthrie;