Accessing specialist palliative expertise, particularly out of hours, is an important, but often problematic aspect of meeting directives to provide comprehensive around-the-clock care. A telephone advice line can be a successful route to transferring palliative care knowledge between specialists and generalists. In contrast to telephone expert systems, which demand standardization, this type of expert system emphasises the use of professional judgement. Based on a three-year evaluation, this article highlights that assessing and advising professionals about the use of a telephone as a communication mechanism demands specific communication skills and processes which need to be developed and nurtured. Another important feature to acknowledge is that the predominate aim of a telephone advice line may most appropriately be to transfer knowledge on a case-by-case basis to contribute to the resolution of a clinical need.
|International Journal of Palliative Nursing
|Published - Jun 2008