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Integration aims to streamline advance care planning

Originally published by Australian Ageing Agenda, October 12, 2023. Reproduced with permission.

An integration between Health Metrics’ eCase software platform and Touchstone Life Care’s digital advance care planning software aims to make it easier for aged care providers to create, store and retrieve advance care plans.

The feature has gone live for cloud-hosted eCase residential aged care customers of the clinical, financial, and operational system.

The integration allows Touchstone Life Care platform users to integrate a resident’s digital advance care plan directly to their gallery in eCase, ensuring the most up-to-date version of a plan is accessible when required.

Touchstone Life Care founder and chief executive officer Dr Merran Cooper said workforce strains combined with the effort of using paper-based advance care plans meant they were often sidelined or avoided.

Dr Cooper developed the platform after years working in hospitals witnessing patient suffering and families in conflict regarding healthcare decisions, which she said could have been avoided with an advance care plan in place.

“Sharing an advance care plan with family members has the added benefit of opening up a discussion about a person’s wishes, thereby reducing the risk of confusion and conflict if and when a decision about medical treatment needs to be made,” Dr Cooper said.

Health Metrics’ chief product officer Nina Combe said she was keen to integrate with complementary third-party software products that assisted with compliance and quality standards.

“Within Standard 2 of the Aged Care Quality Standards, it specifies that assessment and planning identify and address the consumer’s current needs, goals and preferences, including advance care planning and end-of-life planning,” Ms Combe said.

“This integration will allow Touchstone Life Care’s digital advance care plans to be located easily within eCase as the single source of truth, and also to provide proof of completion for compliance purposes,” she said.

Touchstone Life Care – which is accessible via any device – guides staff through the process of developing a digital advance care plan with a resident, helping to identify values and preferences through conversation that starts with gentle questions and builds up to more challenging ones.

The digital plans can be securely shared online with family members, general practitioners and trusted contacts, and accessed easily by a unique QR code generated for each plan (pictured left).

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