This article presents an approach to staff education designed to enhance clinical decision making related to hospice eligibility criteria and admission to the hospice program. Designed as a performance improvement project that would support current admission practices, this article describes specific tools developed to support the initial assessment of hospice eligibility, priority care for pain and symptom control, and communication at the end of life. This article also explores techniques used to assist clinicians in understanding the Medicare hospice benefit, defining the admission consent process, and improving adherence to various regulatory considerations.
Melissa Jones, MN, RN, CHPN, is Assistant Professor of Nursing, Linfield-Good Samaritan School of Nursing; and Hospice Registered Nurse, Providence Hospice, Portland, Oregon.
Twilla Harrington, BSN, RN, WCC, CHPN, is Hospice Registered Nurse, Providence Hospice, Portland, Oregon.
Gail Mueller, BSN, RN, CHPN, is Clinical Manager, Amedisys Home Health Care, Portland, Oregon.
Address correspondence to Melissa Jones, MN, RN, CHPN, Linfield-Good Samaritan School of Nursing, 2255 NW Northrup, Portland, OR 97210 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The authors have no conflict of interest to disclose.