There has been growing interest in home-based palliative care as an approach to care management that is patient-centred and focused on quality of life. However, the availability of high-quality end-of-life care varies widely across Canada. A recent report released by the Canadian Partnership against Cancer identified an “overuse of or over-reliance on acute-care hospital services near the end of life” due to inadequate availability of, or access to, home-based palliative care.

Building Operational Excellence: Home-Based Palliative Care, focuses on meeting patient and caregiver expectations through continuous improvement of the operational processes and the culture of home care service provider organizations. The project focused on the following priority areas:

  • Translating advance care plans and health care wishes into the planning and delivery of services in the home.
  • Early and ongoing identification of the needs and strengths of patients and caregivers and ways to incorporate assessment results into shared care plans.
  • Strategies and methods to ensure effective and efficient communication, shared decision-making and care coordination.
  • Timely access to, efficient management of and safe disposal of equipment, supplies and medications in the home.

The project made a significant contribution to operational excellence in home and community-based palliative care. Gaining a clear understanding of gaps and opportunities from the provider and patient/caregiver perspective enabled the team to target specific areas and identify leading practices that would have an immediate impact on quality care. Sharing the knowledge gained throughout the initiative was an important component of the work.


Minister Petitpas Taylor announces funding to help strengthen palliative care
May 10, 2019
Three organizations that focus on palliative care will receive more than $4.5 million in funding to support palliative care initiatives. Canadians deserve to live out their lives in comfort and with dignity. Learn more

Home care leaders meeting in Charlottetown, PEI
October 1, 2018
Home-based palliative care innovations in Canada showcased at two-day event
Home care leaders from across Canada are meeting at the CHCA’s two-day summit on October 1 and 2, 2018. A special feature of the summit is the live-streaming of presentations outlining 12 leading practices in operational excellence focused on home-based palliative care.  Download the Release


  • A multi-phased stakeholder engagement to identity gaps and opportunities
  • A picture of the patient, caregiver and provider experience when receiving or providing home-based palliative care

Learn more

  • 22 leading practices in home-based palliative care
  • 5 evidence-informed practices that improve the effectiveness and efficiency of home-based palliative care
  • Evidence synthesis of medication and supplies management

Learn more

Implementing a Leading Practice

  • CHCA SPRINT Implementation Collaborative
  • Implementation of Whole Community Palliative Rounds in 11 organizations
  • Framework and user guide for implementing innovative practices

Learn more

Quick Facts

75% of Canadian would prefer to die in their home. But only 25% die in the home. The Way Forward, Harris/Decima survey, 2013. Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association, 2012

99% of palliative home care clients had family or friends helping to care for them, making it possible for them to stay at home. 1 in 3 caregivers reported distress. Canadian Institute for Health Information, 2018

3.7 million Canadians aged 15 and older reported providing end-of-life or palliative care to a family member or friend at some point in their lives. Statistics Canada, 2012

It costs approximately $4,700 per client to provide palliative care in the home compared to $19,000 in hospital. The Ontario Association of Community Care access Centres, 2010


This national initiative aims to integrate high-quality palliative care earlier into the ongoing care of Canadians with serious life-limiting illness. A framework, statistics, reports and tools can be accessed through the website.

This report aims to provide a better understanding of how Canadians access palliative care in the community and other care settings including access to care, quality of care, clinician preparation and patient/family involvement. Download the Report

This national campaign includes tools and information to encourage advance care planning as a process and help Canadians think about and share their wishes for future health and personal care. Visit the website 

The BC Centre for Palliative Care is a not-for-profit organization funded by the Ministry of Health to accelerate best practices, promote innovation and enhance capacity within the system and in the community in relation to palliative care, advance care planning and compassionate communities. Visit the Website

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