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Short Hospice Length of Stay

presented by Jennifer Kennedy, EdD, MA, BSN, RN, CHC

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Jennifer Kennedy is an employee of the Community Health Accreditation Partner organization. She receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Nonfinancial: Jennifer Kennedy has no competing nonfinancial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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Video Runtime: 36 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 16 Minutes

Short length of patient stay in hospice care is increasing. During this course, we discuss hospice referral timing, the variables that contribute to a short length of hospice stay, and how referral sources can be educated related to hospice referrals timing. Hospice care looks very different for a patient and family with a short stay, so we will also discuss the hospice team care approach for these situations.

Meet Your Instructor

Jennifer Kennedy, EdD, MA, BSN, RN, CHC

Dr. Jennifer Kennedy is the vice president for quality and standards at Community Health Accreditation Partner (CHAP) and is a nationally recognized hospice expert. She has more than 35 years of experience as a leader and nurse in diverse healthcare settings and has worked in hospice and palliative care for the last 20+ years. She…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Timely Hospice Care Referrals

Although more people are seeking end-of-life care, the number of short stays in hospice is increasing. This chapter explains that hospice care improves quality of life and preserves the individual’s dignity, yet more Medicare patients are being enrolled in hospice in their last days of life versus last months of life.

2. Reasons for Delayed Hospice Referral

Shorter hospice lengths of stay are linked with poorer patient outcomes, which can include greater emotional distress and financial issues, compromised symptom management, and a negative patient and family experience. This chapter will examine the multiple reasons for a delayed patient referral to hospice care.

3. Care Considerations for a Hospice Short Length of Stay

Hospice teams need to significantly adjust their care approach to manage patient and family needs during a short hospice stay. This chapter describes various hospice team modifications that increase success in managing patients and families who are referred to hospice care in the last days of a patient’s life. A case study provides a practical example of this patient scenario and the hospice team’s management approach.

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