When should I refer my patient to hospice?
If you would be surprised your patient was alive six months from now, he or she may be appropriate for hospice care. Your next task is to evaluate your patient's needs and goals. An affirmative answer to one of more of the following questions indicates a call to Benton Hospice Service may be warranted.
- Do the patient and family understand the seriousness of the prognosis?
- Are the goals of care or treatment no longer focused on extending life?
- Does the patient's pain and/or symptoms require more effective management?
- Is the home setting (or facility setting) conducive to good care for the patient?
- Does the family need a plan for additional caregiving support?
- Do grief issues need to be examined?
While a "yes" to any of these questions may signal readiness or appropriateness, admission to hospice requires that eligibility requirements for specific illnesses and conditions be met and that the patient agrees to forego curative treatment.
If you would like to consult with our medical director or clinical manager about a particular patient, please contact Benton Hospice Service. Our nurses are also available to perform an assessment of your patient if needed.
You may suggest an informational visit for your patient from a hospice nurse or social worker. You can also give your patients hospice brochures to read or a copy of Understanding Hospice to watch.