July 15, 2016
Moore Mission Moments - The Watershed Group

5 Steps to Creating A Culture of Care

by Patti Moore


How can we in hospice management create a robust culture of care in our organizations? In the past I consulted with a hospice run by an autocratic leader who really didn’t want to know what the staff thought or cared about; his big concern was his bottom line, not his front lines. How is staff likely to respond to leadership solely focused on dollars and cents, even at the expense of their mission of care? Not well, in my experience, because it’s so at odds with the animating ideals of hospice itself, and of the people who go into this work.

That’s why it’s critical to create a corporate culture that supports our work and our people – and that culture begins with transparency and trust.  


Here are 5 ways to improve your hospice’s culture of care, and better support your mission:

  1. Show them what’s under the hood. Share your view of the nuts and bolts of running a hospice with the staff, starting with how you budget. Helping staff to understand what things cost and what our expectations are helps them to be better stewards of the dollars we get from Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance and donations.
  2. Share the daily census. Staffing is the biggest item on the balance sheet. All staff members should know how many patients the organization is serving each day. Having clarity around staffing guidelines – how many people are required to care for that number of patients - creates accountability, so that staff understand when the census goes down, they’ll either need to help out somewhere else or take time off.
  3. Establish medication guidelines. An automatic order for a 14-day supply of any medication should be reduced, particularly if it’s clear that the patient may only live a few more days. Medication formularies can specify types of medications allowed, generics versus brand names, etc. This helps insure the best care at the best cost.
  4. Be clear about the core business you want to offer. Make sure that all the people who work for you understand what your hospice’s mission is, and how you expect them to put that mission into action.
  5. Regularly ask the question, “Is this program or process still working, or do we need something else?” As dollars in healthcare continue to shrink, it’s more important than ever to discover what your community wants and will support and offer that.


Interesting Image


PROFILES IN CARING: This beautifully written, simply observed account of the day to day work of a dedicated hospice nurse reminds us so clearly, once again, that the small things are really the big things at the end of life; the caring touch, the familiar song, the shared memory.




MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION: While attending the spring meeting of the National Partnership for Hospice Innovation in Washington, DC a number of us met with these legislators to discuss end of life issues.  I’m delighted to see doctors and lawmakers working together to create legislation that will train more hospice and palliative care providers, and improve options for patients with serious chronic illnesses:




WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A WIDOW:  Assistant Medical Professor at Stanford University Lucy Kalanithi talks about her grief at the loss of her husband, neurosurgeon and author Paul Kalanithi, their joy at the birth of their daughter shortly before his death, and what it’s like to learn to be a widow and a mother at the same time.



Jim Dugan battled cancer for about four years, but when his doctors determined was nothing more they could do, he spent the final weeks of his life in a nursing home. In his memory, his family is working to create a comfort care home in the Corning, New York area so that patients will have a less-institutionalized alternative in their last days. This home will be open to two patients at a time and also offer amenities for their families; our friends at CareFirst of Painted Post, NY, will supply professional hospice services.  



Later this month I will be the guest speaker at the HopeWest Legacy Luncheon in Grand Junction, CO.  My presentation Generosity as a Legacy will offer their donors inspiration on the impact their gifts have had in all of Western Colorado as well as the benefits of generosity for the giver.


The Watershed Group
Phone: 352-495-2800  |  Fax: 352-495-1810
© 2016 All rights reserved
To Read Previous Newsletters Go To: http://www.thewatershedgroup.com/newsletter-sign-up/
Having trouble viewing this email? Click here
If you no longer wish to receive our emails, click the link below:
The Watershed Group 5745 SW 75th St #323 Gainsville, Florida 32608 United States (352) 495-2800