Introducing Virtual Hospice and our online Community


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In this brief overview, you will be introduced to the main sections of Virtual Hospice, information and support about palliative and end-of-life care, loss and grief. Learn how you can join the online community and share with others because life often saves its most difficult questions to the end.

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  • Good morning! I’m Colleen Young, Awareness & Engagement Manager, and Community Moderator for VH. I’m going to spend 30-40 minutes acquainting you with the features and services of VH and then we’ll have time for questions.
  • Clinical team Staff National Advisory Committee
  • Articles written by clinical team on a spectrum of physical, emotional and spiritual issues, decision-making, financial assistance, caregiving, visiting. The most popular articles is “When Death is Near” which helps people understand what to expect as illness progresses through the final days and hours of life. The articles are written to be accessible. Patients and families print off the articles to take to visits with their health team. Health teams print off the articles for patients and families as a way to start discussions on difficult issues.
  • Our most downloaded article is When Death is Near – almost 6,000 downloads per month. People want to know what to expect at end of life. Families want to be able to prepare emotionally and logistically for death. This article talks about momentum of change and helps people to gauge the imminence of death. Health care teams routinely leave it at the bedside so families can access it when they are ready.
  • Programs and Services Book. Links and More Glossary
  • Ask a Professional is our signature feature - it is unique in Canada, unique in the world as it allows Canadians to pose a question online to palliative care experts and receive a detailed personal and confidential response within three business days. Questions are triaged by a Clinical Nurse specialist Our clinical team includes physicians, clinical nurse specialists, a social worker, a spiritual care advisor, ethicists, pediatrics. To date the team has answered almost 1600 questions on a range of issues from every province and territory. Most of the questions concern physical symptoms like pain, nausea, and a majority of questions have a psychosocial aspect to them. 60% from pff who use the anonymity of the internet to ask questions they may find very difficult asking face to face. 40% from profeisonals – difficult/comlex cases; tired everything and not getting result would like; now what? Questions are triaged by CNS, urgent prioritized. Answers based on experience, supported by evidence. For responses to hcp often do lit review and provide links Also provide links to local resoruces and will go as far as calling local services to identify the correct person to phone.
  • Great variety of questions from health care providers as well as the general public – questions have varying levels of complexity – some are fairly clear and straight forward while others reflect many facets of care with emotional and spiritual elements. -Anonymity enables people to ask questions; express feelings they may not be able to say out loud
  • Our Asked and Answered section provides examples of questions that Canadians have asked and the answers that our clinical team has provided. These examples can provide a wealth of information on common questions and normalize experiences. Over 80 key questions and answers have been provided on the site with all identifying information removed to protect confidentiality and this has become one of the most popular features of the site. Health providers use A&A to frame discussions.
  • Our asked and answered are indexed by topic area in order to easily access the applicable information.
  • The Gallery provides an alternative way to access information to reading text. We have over 50 videos being finalized
  • For Professionals is a portal that aggregates information so it can be accessed quickly by anyone working in health care.
  • Show live demo. How to become a member login fill out profile Post: add a comment and start a new subject
  • Show live demo. How to become a member login fill out profile Post: add a comment and start a new subject
  • Show live demo. How to become a member login fill out profile Post: add a comment and start a new subject
  • Show live demo. How to become a member login fill out profile Post: add a comment and start a new subject
  • Show live demo. How to become a member login fill out profile Post: add a comment and start a new subject
  • Show live demo. How to become a member login fill out profile Post: add a comment and start a new subject
  • Show live demo. How to become a member login fill out profile Post: add a comment and start a new subject
  • Introducing Virtual Hospice and our online Community

    1. 1. Canadian Virtual Hospice | Portail palliatifsColleen YoungAwareness & Engagement Manager,Community Moderator
    2. 2. Who we are
    3. 3. What we do• Deliver evidence-informed health information in a thoughtful, caring way• Help people make informed decisions and to navigate the health system• Assist informal caregivers care for patients at home• Enable people facing end of life to connect in a community of mutual support• Support the work you do
    4. 4. How we are funded• Annual budget $600,000/year• 3.5 full-time staff• Our major funders are:
    5. 5. Articles• Topics – 50+ evidence-informed, plain language • Grief Work, Grief in Times of Celebration • Emotional health; Stress and distress • Guilt, Regret, Forgiveness, Reconciliation • Rituals to Comfort Families• Patient and family teaching tools• Reviewed and updated annually• Print and email functionality
    6. 6. Resources• Programs and Services – 600+ listings of local, regional and national• Books, Links and More – 800+ third-party resources vetted by clinical team• Glossary – plain language
    7. 7. Programs and Services
    8. 8. Books, Links and More
    9. 9. Support features
    10. 10. Ask a Professional• Online access to palliative care specialists: physicians, clinical nurse specialists, psychosocial consultant, spiritual care adviser, ethicists, pediatric palliative care specialists• Responses are: timely (<3 business days), evidence-informed, multidisciplinary, confidential• More than 1,600 questions answered
    11. 11. Is it normal not to cry after someone close has died? How can we support our Dad’s wish to die at home?Is there any kind of pain that cannot be controlled by drugs?What can be expected as someone gets closer to death? How would you suggest decreasing and discontinuing tube feedings?How do I tell my young son that his grandfather is dying? What is the best way to manage neuropathic pain?My husband died suddenly about a year ago. I’m still having trouble sleeping and I just wish the pain would end. Can you die from a broken heart?
    12. 12. Asked and Answered• Searchable database of over 125 questions asked by Canadians and answered by the clinical team• Wealth of information on common questions• Helps to frame discussions on difficult issues
    13. 13. The Gallery
    14. 14. Your Stories
    15. 15. For Professionals
    16. 16. For Volunteers
    17. 17. Discussion Forums• Lend an ear, lend a hand, lend advice – using the Internet
    18. 18. ACTIVITYOnline – offline support; Are they the same?• Identify the differences between in person and online support.
    19. 19. To build an online community…You need Core Members.Core members are the rocks of the community.
    20. 20. Core Members• Ensure that every post gets a response.• Welcome new members.• Add to the conversations.• Build an active, responsive and welcoming community providing information and support.
    21. 21. How?• Respond to posts from others• Ask questions• Start discussions• Tell people about Virtual Hospice• Invite them to join the discussions
    22. 22. Communicate effectivelyEvery post addresses the entire community;not just one person.• encourage further community discussion• provide information and guidance for active members and lurkers, as well as future readers• set and reflect the community tone of support
    23. 23. Tips• End post with a question.• Be concise.• Keep it legible.• Don’t be the expert.• Be human.
    24. 24. Common sense guidelines• Use plain language.• Use short sentences.• Logically structure reply according to points raised in original post.• Be friendly.• Re-read your message before posting.
    25. 25. ACTIVITYDemonstration• How to create an account• How to post• About Subscribing and Notifications• How to fill out your profile
    26. 26. Create an account• Go to Discussion Forums.
    27. 27. Login and
    28. 28. Start a New
    29. 29. Subscription &
    30. 30. Complete your
    31. 31. Moderator’s commitment• Support members• Listen actively• Ensure a safe environment• Monitor for mis-information• Foster and encourage supportive conversation• Promote growth• Support members
    32. 32. Your part• Post regularly (respond to survey)• Welcome newcomers• Promote the Virtual Hospice & the community• Invite people to join• Share your feedback with me: ideas always welcome!!• Keep me posted
    33. 33. Access to me• Via the Moderator’s Corner• By email:
    34. 34. www.virtualhospice.caThank