During our last blog post, we talked about how your employees are the most valuable raw materials of your hospice organization. Today we’d like to talk about how to take those raw materials and transform them into great teachers and hospice professionals, by giving them the resources they need to feel confident and aligned with the CAHPS survey goals. By being streamlined and prepared in your patient education materials, you have the tools you need to teach from and to share with patients and families. This streamlined presentation of information, from admission through bereavement, allows you to be consistent in your education and support, as well as be prepared for the CAHPS Hospice Survey. The IMPACT (Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation) Act was signed into law on October 6, 2014. One provision of the new law requires that hospices be surveyed for Medicare compliance every 36 months, effective April 6, 2015.
Surveys can be conducted by the state survey agency or by one of the three approved accrediting organizations. Many hospices have not been surveyed in years and it can feel overwhelming to think about writing your own patient education materials to align with today’s regulatory burdens. We have written our materials from the Heart of Hospice perspective, but also from the perspective of a hospice professional and hospice administrators.
We've been in your shoes, and we know the delicate balance of head and heart, business and personal; we know the longing to just be with people and not have to worry so much about the paperwork. But since we do have to pay attention to the details, we want to help you sleep better at night, knowing your staff is well trained and your patients and families have what they need. Knowing you are ready for the hospice satisfaction survey comes from providing great care, but also consistent education and teaching tools for hospice nurses, social workers and chaplains, along with every person who visits the patient or caregiver. Numerous studies have shown that reducing anxiety and stress in caregivers helps lessen symptoms of pain in patients, and reducing pain in patients helps alleviate anxiety in caregivers. This reciprocal relationship between patient and family, and the family’s communication to the hospice team is the key to quality hospice care.
Nature Gave Us Butterflies is a streamlined teaching tool that was designed to help your team deliver a cohesive and easy to understand message, from every discipline, to every patient and caregiver, every time. By training your staff to use this easy-to-teach-from booklet, you can have confidence you are meeting the fundamentals of hospice patient and family education. For example, questions such as, “While your family member was in hospice care, how often did the hospice team explain things in a way that was easy to understand?” Or, “While your family member was in hospice care, how often did anyone from the hospice team give you confusing or contradictory information about your family member’s condition or care?” can be addressed from hospice admission through bereavement follow up, just by using these booklets consistently. By using Nature Gave Us Butterflies, as well as The Nature of Grief booklets with your patients and families, you can rest assured you have the most up-to-date clinical and therapeutic tools to provide quality hospice care and education, in a soft yet clinically accurate teaching tool. Questions such as, “How often did your family member get the help he or she needed from the hospice team for feelings of anxiety or sadness?” Or “Did the hospice team give you the training you needed about what to do if your family member became restless or agitated?” can all be addressed through a streamlined education process, by using consistent resources to provide a consistent message from each staff member and hospice volunteer.
Quality teaching to patients and families is the goal of every hospice professional, and yet we sometimes struggle to get all of the information into our time with them, along with other important things that naturally rise during end of life care visits. Teaching from our booklets, especially by showing the family where to read about the specific symptoms, creates a visual where the family can turn for further information. Teaching from one end-of-life care booklet provides continuity of care among staff and decreases the caregiver anxiety, resulting in an overall better experience of hospice care.
Finally, we love feedback! Always feel to reach out with any comments, ideas or questions about how to use Nature Gave Us Butterflies, The Nature of Grief or any other Wings of Change Publications to meet your quality initiatives and hospice survey readiness. You can always reach us through our contact page or email us directly at Info@WingsOfChangePublications.com. As always, it's our honor to be with you at the bedside.