June 10, 2016
Moore Mission Moments - The Watershed Group


by Patti Moore


How hospice has changed since the movement began! Back at the beginning, there was no competition, because there wasn’t any money. But today competition is fierce, and requires that we as leaders re-imagine and upgrade our relationships with our clients, our communities, our donors and our referrers. Beyond offering superb care, delivered consistently, and unfailingly going above and beyond what is expected, how can you stand out from other providers in your market?

 Last time, I offered up the first five of these ten ways to thrive in an increasingly competitive market; here are five more. 

1.  Know what your community really wants. Often hospices offer programs they think are important but which may not really meet the needs of their community. Great organizations get to know intimately what their customers want. That means spending time talking with patients and families, not just sending out a survey. 


2.  Know what your referrers really want. Spend some time in physician offices sitting at the desk with the nurse who answers the incoming calls; learn what kinds of issues they are faced with, and how you can help support them in the job that they are trying to do for their patients. 


3.  How do you handle complaints? If you have complaints without proper follow-up, your competitors will have the edge on you. Have a proactive way to deal with service failures and customer complaints. Every interaction matters.


4.  Know what your market share is. There are data mining groups that can tell you exactly what percentage of potential patients are using your services, and what percentage are using your competitors’.  If you believe you are the “BEST”, then why is someone else serving patients?


5.  Know where you stand with your referral sources. Invest in getting a third-party consultant to do a market assessment, to identify how easy or difficult it is for physicians and referral sources to work with your program. Listen to that feedback and make adjustments. Why a third party? Often people who work with you will be hesitant to voice complaints directly.


                                             Continue to stand out from the competition and shine!

Interesting Image

Because life isn't over until it's overWhen this Mississippi teen was given the news that his mom would pass away only days before his high school graduation, his community pulled together made sure she would be there to see it — by holding his graduation ceremony at her bedside in hospice. 


Who will care for the caregivers? This moving first-person account underscores a real and growing issue: As our population grows old or becomes ill, the demands on family members who find themselves pressed into service as caregivers, companions, and advocates are tremendous, often even debilitating. As our nation ages (and increasingly chooses to "age in place") the scope of these challenges will only increase. How can we best care for them? 


How would you choose to spend your last days in life?  For Ruth “Ellie” Duckette, the answer is at the beach, with her toes in the water, eating donuts and drinking sangria with friends and family. Sounds like a plan!


Agrace Hospice Care Gets Your Goat: Where can you get a team of hardworking groundskeepers to clean up invasive species in your facility's gardens  - for three dollars a day? Try renting a

flock of "green goats", as administrators at Agrace Hospice Care did. It's a fun way to get the yard work done and they report that their patients and their families enjoy watching the goats at work. Agrace is building on that popularity in a very creative way to support their Care For All Endowment Campaign, offering their contributors goat-naming opportunities; for more on that, and what your dollars will support, visit agrace.org/careforall.


2016 FHPCA Hospice Works Forum

Just back from a great conference at the 2016 FHPCA Hospice Works Forum. The focus of this year's event was on the too-often unsung and unseen hospice heroes, those folks on the non-clinical side whose work makes these great organizations viable. It was wonderful to see attendees from as far away as Vermont, like Nicole Moran, Director of Palliative Care and Hospice at VNA and Hospice of the Southwest Region, as well as others I met from Michigan and Ohio.  I closed the conference with a keynote on mission, purpose and passion, and was rewarded with a really lovely standing ovation.    


Enjoying time with my Hospice CEO pal's: Jim Poole, Susan de Cuba, Susan Ponder-Stansel,

(me) and Linda Ward at the FHPCA meeting.



In late June, I'll be visiting clients and friends in Rhode Island, Cape Cod, and Murray, Kentucky. Hope to see you around!

The Watershed Group
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