Continuous monitoring and management of a person’s symptoms and performance status are critical for the delivery of effective palliative care. This monitoring occurs routinely in inpatient settings; however, such close evaluation in the community has remained elusive. Patient self-reporting using telehealth offers opportunities to identify symptom escalation and functional decline in real time, and facilitate timely proactive management. We report the case of a 57-year-old man with advanced non-small cell lung cancer who participated in a telehealth trial run by a community palliative care service. This gentleman was able to complete self-reporting of function and symptoms via iPad although at times he was reticent to do so. Self-reporting was perceived as a means to communicate his clinical needs without being a bother to the community palliative care team. He also participated in a videoconference with clinical staff from the community palliative care service and his General Practitioner. Videoconferencing with the nurse and GP was highly valued as an effective way to communicate and also because it eliminated the need for travel. This case report provides important information about the feasibility and acceptability of palliative care telehealth as a way to better manage clinical care in a community setting.
- Palliative care