Delivering consistently compassionate and efficient after-hours care is a difficult challenge for most hospice administrators. But taking the time to implement innovative solutions and best practices now will help you improve patient and caregiver experience while limiting the stress on your nursing staff.
Although the change may not be overnight, start improving your after-hours model with the following tips from our hospice triage experts:
Take Steps to Prevent Nursing Burnout
Any hospice administrator or nursing manager knows nursing burnout is a very real concern in the everyday operations of a hospice provider. Taking a proactive approach to your staff’s well being can prevent compassion fatigue and nursing burnout.
Below are a few tips to take care of your most valuable resources, which are especially important for on-call nurses:
- Periodically review each nurse’s time management to ensure patients’ common needs are addressed during regular business hours, so only truly emergent calls occur after hours.
- Regularly share best practices with the entire team.
- Address employee concerns regularly and provide adequate resources to increase job satisfaction.
- Invest in programs, like those from the American Nurses Association, that address burnout and stress management.
- Implement strategies to support core staff, such as partnering with third-party providers, to allow on-call nurses to focus on patient visits rather than answering the phone.
Assess Patient & Caregiver Experience
With the new CAHPS survey requirement, patient and caregiver satisfaction is already on the minds of hospice administrators everywhere. However, patient and caregiver experience should be the cornerstone of all hospice operations.
As part of you overall patient satisfaction strategy, hospice administrators may want to consider the following services for after-hour and weekend care:
- Communicate often with patients and caregivers through tuck-in, status check, and follow-up calls.
- In lieu of an answering service, provide immediate access to medical professionals who can immediately address and answer both emergent and non-emergent care issues.
- Provide caregivers with valuable, updated written and online materials to educate and guide them through their loved one’s end of life transition.
Address Efficiency Concerns
Hospice administrators are often left to navigate the tricky world of growing demands and limited resources, especially during evening and weekend hours.
Read below for a few tips to improve after-hour efficiency:
- Invest in staff and business partners who can answer questions and resolve after-hours issues immediately.
- Implement software with multiple points of access to eliminate operational redundancies associated with entering and updating information in multiple places.
- Utilize powerful reporting capabilities that provide analytical reports to identify areas of need and to measure performance improvements.
- Choose business partners who offer scalable services to accommodate your change in demand and census numbers, so you pay only for additional support when you need it.
Weekend and evening care continues to be a concern for hospice administrators and hospice nurses, but taking the time to reevaluate your current methods may pay dividends in the future.
Check back often for future posts on how hospice administrators can improve after-hours care.