by Patti Moore
What Would Dame Cicely Do?
That was the question posed to attendees at the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization's Management and Leadership Conference in Washington DC by the incoming President and CEO, Edo Banach recently. He told us NHPCO's focus will be bringing value to members and focusing on innovation. We were reminded of milestones reached this year; the 35th anniversary of the Medicare Hospice Benefit and the 50th anniversary of St Christopher’s Hospice in London, where the modern-day hospice movement began under Dame Cicely Saunders. And we were asked to consider “WWDCD” - What Would Dame Cicely Do? What would she do now, 50 years later?
Holding tightly to the old paradigms isn’t a viable option. Hospice organizations must find ways to identify what patients, families, their communities and referral sources want in this new century. Is it Palliative Care which allows curative treatments along with palliation of symptoms? Is it facilitating open and early discussions about how people want to live until they die? Is it receiving aggressive treatments as long as possible, then having a hospice length of stay for 7 days?!
Rather than offering up what you think people want, why not go out and look around your community at what people are paying for out of pocket, what they find of value in the healthcare world and in the non-healthcare world, and begin to offer some pilot programs that meet those needs? We must learn to "Just say yes!" as Mary Sheehan, CEO at Juliette Area Community Hospice and many of my other CEO clients do, instead of "No, that's not possible, the Medicare benefit doesn't pay for that". Now is the time for hospices to “preserve the core and stimulate progress”, as Jim Collins said all those years ago in his book Good to Great. Step beyond the confines of your comfort zone, see what is happening outside the world of hospice, and bring back ideas to innovate. It doesn't have to be costly, but it does have to have meaning and purpose.
Though we’ve just begun to explore the potential of technology to create a more seamless patient experience, there are apps out there now that hospices can use to improve their care. First is care.ly an app that allows patients, families and healthcare organizations to share updates on the patient’s care more easily and efficiently. Another app, called TAP Cloud, allows patients to touch a scattergram of words that correlate with their diagnosis to describe their symptoms, which is sent directly to the patient's physician and/or hospice nurse in between visits by the IDT. We need to partner with high tech developers to examine ways patients (who are able) can offer the wisdom of their journey to others, and to make the world of healthcare easier to navigate for
patient families and caregivers.
What would Dame Cicely Sanders do today? My guess is that she’d do as she did in creating the modern hospice movement; she’d reject the unsatisfactory status quo, rebuff the nay-sayers, and boldly step into the future. It’s incumbent on us as the successors to her mission to do the same in creating the next wave of Hospice.
All dressed up for the NHPCO Gala recently:
Christy Whitney, Jan Jones NHPCO Board Chair, Edo Banach NHPCO CEO ,Patti Moore, Mrs.Banach
WORTH READING/ WORTH WATCHING:
Grieving is not a one-size-fits-all process. How we cope with and live through loss is as various as humanity itself, and as our culture changes, how we grieve is changing, too.
"Ten years ago, my world as I knew it ended. My husband of 19 years, the father of my two sons, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Over the course of seven months, Bill went from beating me silly on the tennis court to needing my help to go to the bathroom and bathe. It was the best seven months of my life."
"A new study shows that an online virtual support group may be an effective option for older adults dealing with grief. Researchers used the online platform Second Life to create a private virtual living room in a seaside cabin, where small groups of three to six people could virtually gather.”
"Davison hopes to change traditionally-held beliefs about dying. Speaking to the BBC, he explained, "I did not want her in the mortuary or handed over to a funeral director, I wanted us to take care of her ourselves at our family home, have her in our bedroom so I could sleep in the same room." He added, "Death seems to be such a taboo subject in our society, no one seems to want to talk about it."So he wrote a beautiful and deeply touching memorial about his wife's life and death on Facebook, which has now gone viral.
CLIENT SUCCESS STORIES:
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After 35 years, Treasure Coast Hospice is changing its parent organization name to Treasure Health. The name change reflects the organization’s growth and expanded family of services, including palliative care, pediatric, and grief support programs, beyond its cornerstone hospice care.
Along with the name change, the organization launched its new website, www.treasurehealth.org, and a motion graphic that emphasizes the importance of conversations about healthcare wishes.
"Treasure Health more accurately describes the breadth of services that our care teams deliver to patients and families in our community every day,” said Susan de Cuba, president and CEO of Treasure Health.
“Ninety-seven thousand hours of time were donated at Hospice of Marion County in Ocala, FL in 2016, which, if paid for, would have cost the agency $1.7 million. Connie Storms, Director of Volunteer Services, said 97,000 of those hours were completed in 2016 alone. If the organization had to pay volunteers a salary for those 97,000 hours of work, it would have cost $1.7 million.
“(Volunteers) add something special,” said Mary Ellen Poe, CEO of Hospice of Marion County. “They’re just the special touch that our family and patients have with their care.””
I have been in the office this week coaching several executives. I love that work, seeing leaders discover their own strengths and stretch and grow into their best selves is very rewarding for me.
In June I'm going to take the advice I give to my clients...Take a vacation! My husband and I are going to take our Airstream trailer on a Road Trip! Connect with me on Facebook to see our travels.
Happy Memorial Day and blessings from my heart to all the Veterans! And, Happy Summer!
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