Tuesday, June 14, 2016

EHR's Continue To Underwhelm

Late one night early in my career a fellow colleague and I were locked in a debate over the future of home automation systems. Near the end of this discussion he said "Everyone knows how to use a light-switch, and if they don't it's almost immediately obvious how to operate one." He was right, nearly everything on the market that attempted to improve on this design had fallen short because the light-switch in its underwhelming way is really a master of user interaction.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Using HIEs To Increase Admissions Productivity

Admissions still remains one of the most difficult times during the transition to hospice care. These first few hours are a delicate balance of patient and family education combined with a seemingly endless set of questions. As length of stays have decreased in recent years hospices have had to contend with higher admission rates to avoid a decrease in total census. This has put increased pressure on the teams that handle these transitions, and in many cases shifted the focus from patient education to documentation. There isn't a quick fix for solving this imbalance, but Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) can increasingly help lower the initial set of documentation required for admissions.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

How Mindfulness Can Benefit the Hospice Professional

Guest Post By: Gillian Hamilton, MD, PhD, Administrative Medical Director

Yes, mindfulness is all the rage these days. But what can it do for hospice teams: nurses, social workers, CNAs, physicians, and bereavement counselors?

I first realized that hospice teams need mindfulness when nurses began telling me that they spent all night worrying about their sick patients. Then an excellent and very skilled nursing assistant talked about how guilty she felt because a patient had fallen in the shower, and she couldn’t get it out of her head a month later. As time went by, I realized more and more how often our wonderful staff took the patients’ problems home with them.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

5 Tips for Educating a Mobile Hospice Workforce

It’s a given in hospice that the vast majority of hospice staff members spend the better part of their day caring for patients in their home. This inherently presents challenges when it comes time to educate and train. Let’s face it, the pace at which we work has accelerated dramatically in the last few years, we need to be nimble than ever when responding to patients, their families, and each other. This leaves little time left-over to devote to education and training. Below are some tips for making the most efficient use of staff members’ valuable time.