Winston Churchill had a great quote about change that hospice administrators should take to heart:
“To improve is to change, so to be perfect is to have changed often.”
The hospice and palliative care industry must be well on its way to perfection because change is constant when it comes to regulation, reimbursement, and staffing. Perfection might be difficult to achieve, but effectively managing change in your hospice organization is possible. We’d like to share with you six key strategies from the book, Hospice and Palliative Care: Concept and Practice that hospice administrators and managers can use to manage the changes that are constant in the hospice industry.
#1 Create a Strategy
The creation of an effective strategy for managing change begins with understanding the hospice and palliative care marketplace. By understanding how dynamic the industry is and how often changes are made, hospice leaders can create a strategy that is realistic yet adaptable.
#2 Anticipate Change
Hospice managers must be good at anticipating and managing changing conditions. Author Peter Drucker described it best in Managing in a Time of Great Change: “The standard of evaluation will not be how many people one manages or even the size of the budget, but how successfully one manages the complexities of the job, information, and the relationships needed to do the work of the organization.”
#3 Form Partnerships
Change might be managed more effectively if your home health, hospice or palliative care organization partners with others. Strategic partnerships can help to negotiate better reimbursement and to share liability risks. A good partnership can also position your organization for potential merger or acquisition.
#4 Invest in Information Resources
If hospice care providers know more about the industry and the community they serve, they will have the information they need to better navigate the changing landscape of care. Invest in up-to-date technology for managing day-to-day operations and patient care. Take advantage of digital resources to advertise your services with a website and on social media.
#5 Improve Your Efficiency
Constantly monitor your office processes to improve your efficiency. In this era of surveys, hospice managers will need to constantly adapt to the feedback they receive from the CAHPS and IMPACT surveys. Reviewing, improving, and documenting changes will help you effective manage delivery of quality care.
#6 Seek Support of National Organizations
National organizations such as the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) and the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) host regular meetings, provide educational opportunities, and industry-wide perspectives and resources to support you and your organization. Become a member of these organizations to stay informed, educated, and involved in the industry.
These six key strategies can help busy hospice providers navigate and manage the constant changes that come with working in this dynamic industry. Effectively managing change will help your hospice organization to operate more efficiently and to offer the quality end-of-life care your patients and families rely on.
Sheehan DC, Forman WB, editors. Hospice and Palliative Care: Concepts and Practice. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett; 1996.
Drucker, Peter F. Managing in a Time of Great Change. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press; 2009