Individuals battling a terminal illness who are receiving end-of-life care require a treatment plan that is centered on their needs. That might include a person’s goals, preferences, cultural and faith-based traditions, family situation and overall values.
This is the basis behind person-centered hospice care—a care model that is gaining recognition within the healthcare industry, and has received support from organizations like the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and the American Society on Aging.
How can your agency approach this care model and ensure success in delivering person-centered care? Below are a few key considerations.
Involve Family Caregivers
From the get-go, friends and family caregivers should be involved in the assessment and care-planning stages, as they are the main source of help for hospice patients who require daily assistance, according to the AARP. In fact, the AARP highlights how in some situations, they may help the patient in understanding and negotiating interactions with health care professionals, and serve as the patient’s eyes and ears, recognizing changes in symptoms and function that could require a change in the care plan.
Consider the Patient’s Values
Respecting a patient’s individual needs, values and preferences is the goal to providing person-centered care. It’s not only respectful to the patient, hospices are now being measured on it. As part of the new Hospice Compare site, patient preferences are included as part of the quality measures used to rate hospice providers. More than ever, the success of hospice agencies will depend on taking a person-centered approach.
Point-of-care software not only streamlines documentation, it ensures the patient remains front and center by guiding clinicians to develop and follow a precise care plan, while staying compliant. It also helps in other areas of the patient experience. For example, it can take four to six hours to do an initial patient assessment during the admissions process. This is not only tedious for staff, it adds strain to an already difficult and emotional process. Having the right EMR technology in place can cut this time down by more than half—easing the admissions process and improving the overall quality of care.
Support Decision Making
To address a patient’s changing needs, it’s important to support decision making across the care team with access to timely and accurate information and tools. Part of achieving this is considering how greater business intelligence can drive smarter, more person-centered decisions. EMR solutions with real-time reporting can give hospices the visibility they need to improve patient care. For instance, using snapshots of agency metrics—including current census data, average length of stay, clinician activity and more—hospices can address issues before they escalate, such as leaving patients on hospice service too long or mismanagement of medications. They can also dive into the data to uncover opportunities for training or process improvements that enhance the patient experience.
For more information on how EMR technology can support your hospice, download our eBook, Seven Ways the Right Hospice EMR Solution Can Reduce Risk and Give You a Peace of Mind.