With chronic heart failure being an important underlying cause of morbidity and mortality, proper knowledge and expertise in working with patients with advanced chronic heart failure is essential. Unfortunately, these patients often do not receive the palliative care they need in time. Care needs for these patients are highly personal and differ per patient, in terms of when they need care and what type of care they need. In addition, healthcare professionals experience difficulties in recognizing palliative care needs in this patient group.
In responding to the call for an instrument that healthcare workers in different specializations and areas can use to identify palliative care needs, the I-HARP project was established. In this project, Maastricht UMC+ works together with research partners, patient representatives and partners in practice. Here, an instrument for identifying heart failure patients with palliative care needs (I-HARP) is developed, to help healthcare workers in the timely recognition and directing of palliative care needs. In addition, both a face-to-face workshop as well as an interactive e-learning are developed to train healthcare workers in their use of the I-HARP instrument.
Recently, Elevate has started a new collaboration with Expertisecentrum Palliatieve Zorg of Maastricht UMC+. Together, an e-learning module as part of the I-HARP educational program will be developed. Our instructional designers are working hard on creating an interactive e-learning module, so that healthcare workers can be properly trained in recognizing and directing palliative care needs using I-HARP. This way, patients with advanced chronic heart failure can be better met in their needs through the care they need, as well as a reduced symptom burden and improved quality of life.
This project was funded by the program ‘Palliantie’ of the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMW), The Hague, The Netherlands (grant number 844001511).