Background: In Italy, there currently is a lack of reliable and consistent data on home palliative care provided to people near death. Objectives: Monitoring the activities of the Italian Home Palliative Care Services, according to the 2014 national data collection program entitled “Observatory of Best Practices in Palliative Care” and providing process/outcome measures on a subsample (Best Practice Panel), on regulatory standards and on complete/reliable activity data. Design: A data collection web portal using two voluntary internet-based questionnaires in order to retrospectively identify the main care activity data provided within the year 2013 by Home care units. In the Best Practice Panel and International best practices, eligibility and quality measures refer to the national standards of the NL 38/2010. Setting/Subject: Home Palliative Care Services (HPCSs) that provided care from January to December 2013. Results: 118 Home care units were monitored, globally accounting for 40,955 assisted patients within the year 2013 (38,384 cancer patients); 56 (47.5% of 118) were admitted in the Best Practice Panel. Non-cancer (5%) and pediatric (0.4%) patients represented negligible percentages of frail care patients, and a majority of patients died at home (respectively nearly 75% and 80% of cancer and non-cancer patients). Conclusion: The study demonstrated the feasibility of the collection of certified data from Home care services through a web-based system. Only 80% of the facilities met the requirements provided by the Italian NL 38/2010. Moreover, the extension of the palliative care services provided to frail non-cancer and pediatric patients, affected by complex and advanced chronic conditions, is still inadequate in Italy.
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