Rouhollahi, M.R.a,Saghafinia, M.ab,Zandehdel, K.a,Motlagh, A.G.c,Kazemian, A.a,Mohagheghi, M.A.a,Tahmasebi, M.aEmail AuthoraCancer Research Center (Secretariat of National Cancer Research Network), Cancer Institute of Iran, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran  bDepartment of Anesthesiology, Faculty of Medicine, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IrancDepartment of Radiotherapy, Shahid Baheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Abstract:

Introduction: The first hospital palliative care unit (HPCU) in Iran (FARS-HPCU) has been established in 2008 in the Cancer Institute, which is the largest referral cancer center in the country.

We attempted to assess the performance of the HPCU based on a comprehensive conceptual framework. The main aim of this study was to develop a conceptual framework for assessment of the HPCU performances through designing a value chain in line with the goals and the main processes (core and support). Materials and Methods: We collected data from a variety of sources, including international guidelines, international best practices, and expert opinions in the country and compared them with national policies and priorities.

We also took into consideration the trend of the HPCU development in the Cancer Institute of Iran. Through benchmarking the gap area with the performance standards, some recommendations for better outcome are proposed. Results: The framework for performance assessment consisted of 154 process indicators (PIs), based on which the main stakeholders of the HPCU (including staff, patients, and families) offered their scoring.

The outcome revealed the state of the processes as well as the gaps. Conclusion: Despite a significant improvement in many processes and indicators, more development in the comprehensive and integrative aspects of FARS-HPCU performance is required. Consideration of all supportive and palliative requirements of the patients through interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches is recommended.