The Palliative Care Outcomes Collaboration (PCOC) is a national program that utilises standardised clinical assessment tools to measure and benchmark patient outcomes in palliative care. Participation in PCOC is voluntary and can assist palliative care service providers to improve practice and meet the Palliative Care Australia (PCA) Standards for Providing Quality Palliative Care for all Australians. This is achieved via the PCOC dataset; a multi-purpose framework designed to:
- provide clinicians with an approach to systematically assess individual patient experiences,
- define a common clinical language to streamline communication between palliative care providers and
- facilitate the routine collection of national palliative care data to drive quality improvement through reporting and benchmarking.
The PCOC dataset includes the clinical assessment tools: Palliative Care Phase, Palliative Care Problem Severity Score (PCPSS), Symptom Assessment Scale (SAS), Australia-modified Karnofsky Performance Status (AKPS) scale and Resource Utilisation Groups – Activities of Daily Living (RUG-ADL).
PCOC has divided Australia into four zones for the purpose of engaging with palliative care service providers. Each zone is represented by a chief investigator from one of the collaborative centres. The four PCOC zones and their respective chief investigators are:
|Central Zone||Professor Kathy Eagar, Australian Health Services Research Institute, UOW|
|North Zone||Professor Patsy Yates, Institute of Health & Biomedical Innovation, QUT|
|South Zone||Professor David Currow, Department of Palliative & Supportive Services, Flinders University|
|West Zone||Asst/Prof Claire Johnson, Cancer & Palliative Care Research & Evaluation Unit, University of WA|
Each zone is also represented by one or more quality improvement facilitators, whose role includes supporting services to participate in PCOC and facilitating ongoing service development and quality improvement. The national team, located within the Australian Health Services Research Institute at the University of Wollongong, coordinates the patient outcomes reporting, education program, and quality activities across the four zones.
PCOC is governed by the Management Advisory Board (MAB). The Board is responsible for the strategic and executive management of PCOC including its clinical and scientific governance and for compliance. It meets twice a year, and has an independent chair, Mr Noel Hicks. Mr Hicks is a long-time resident of Griffith NSW who has a strong personal commitment to palliative care. More information on Management of PCOC is available here.
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