Having the Conversation
How do I start the conversation about hospice?
Talking about hospice care does not mean there is nothing else you can do for the patient. It doesn’t mean there is no hope. Hospice is not giving up but changing the focus of care from cure to comfort.
Consider that by talking about hospice you are giving your patients information about all the options available. You are helping them choose what might be best and when. Your patients trust you. Your conversation about hospice care will go a long way in giving them confidence to learn more.
When should I start the conversation?
Many events can trigger a conversation about hospice care, including:
- You determine a patient has a serious illness
- Your patient has experienced repeated trips to the emergency room or hospitalizations
- You notice a steady or significant decline in your patient’s condition, or the patient or a family member has indicated the same
- Your patient or a family member is discouraged by, tired from, or requests no further treatment
- Your patient expresses a desire to be comfortable, stay where they are, get support for his/ her family, or is concerned about rising medical bills resulting from treatment
- Your patient or a family member asks about hospice care
Hospice of Douglas County worked with Stratis Health to help health care providers identify patients who could most benefit from a hospice referral, and to recognize opportunities to encourage patient/provider conversations about hospice or other end of life care earlier in a patient’s course of treatment. To find out more go to: