Hospice enters a new age

Regina Bodnar, Director of Clinical Services

I recently ventured to Florida to participate in the inaugural meeting of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s (NHPCO’s) 2012 Quality and Standards Committee.  It was a vibrant gathering with colleagues from across the country. I believe we shared the collective realization that big or small we were all now immersed in the new hospice…new regulatory requirements, new consumer expectations and a new push to diversify and expand but not allow our programs to drift from the mission that we embraced “back in the day’.

We acknowledged that it is no longer sufficient to provide ‘tender loving care’, or as I like t0 say “skilled care with your heart in the right place”.  Hospice programs must now demonstrate decisions based on data, the ability to adapt to a changing regulatory landscape and the ability to provide and document  quality care in the face of reimbursement cuts.

I am,however, reassured that as an industry  we are true to our core values.  NHPCO’s efforts to proactively respond to the changes are evident through the work of the Quality and Standards committee .  There are subcommittees charged with identifying outcome measures for the work that we do, another to identify what comprises a true quality program, another to document and disseminate varying models of care and ,or course, the committment to Honor our Veterans (WHV). Gilchrist Hospice Care has signed on to the WHV  program and, as in everything we do,  we are prepared to do it in the finest fashion. 

I am confident that here at home base GHC is prepared and preparing for the changes and challenges to come.  Each and every day leadership is committed to understanding the new rules we need to live by and of comparable importance committed to doing ‘what is right to do for each and every  patient”.

2 thoughts on “Hospice enters a new age

  1. My sweet mother started hospice in her home in Southern Maryland. She has end stage Alzheimer’s at the age of 92 and an undiagnosed source of extreme pain. She is bedridden and is receiving pain medication and Haldol prn (usually given in the AM before morning care) due to her combative and non-compliant behaviors. She has made requests for a cold beer. Don’t you think we should attempt giving some beer instead of the antipsychotic medication that the hospice prescribed? I am concerned about the use of the medication yet understand the difficulties of dealing with her confusion and aggressive behaviors. What other options do we have?

    1. Hi Mr. Pratt. Thank you for reaching out. Have you discussed your concerns with your mother’s hospice team, specifically her nurse? Since they are directly involved with her care, they should be better equipped to answer medication questions and if a beer every now and then could be problematic and also better equipped to discuss any other options available to you. However, if after approaching the hospice nurse, you still have questions, please feel free to email GHCinfo@gilchristhospice.org and we will put you in contact with one of our clinicians to see if we can be a resource for your current hospice.

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