Typically, hospice care starts as soon as a formal request or a “referral” is made by the patient’s doctor. Our hospice program representative will make an effort to visit the patient within hours of that referral, providing the visit meets the needs and schedule of the patient and family/primary caregiver. Usually, hospice care is ready to begin with the call. However, in urgent situations, hospice services may begin sooner if physician contact, records and orders are obtained.
The first step is to call and set up an initial assessment of the patient’s needs. The call can be made by a family member, the patient, the doctor, or someone at the hospital.
A member of the hospice nursing staff will ask for initial information on the phone and then schedule an appointment with the patient and family to make a detailed assessment of their condition. The patient physician will be contacted for input.
During this visit, Hospice Care will:
• Assess the patient’s eligibility for hospice.
• Evaluate the individual’s need for pain and symptom management.
• Counsel the individual with respect to end-of-life issues and care options.
• Advise the individual regarding advanced care planning.
• Admission can take place at this time according to the patients wishes and physician input.