One of the irrefutable truths of life is that at some point we will all die. There are many health care professionals, if not all, who will do everything they can to extend life. Even if, in some circumstances, the results turn out inadvertently to not be in the best interest of the patient.
End of life care is expensive, with four times as much spent on those dying than anyone else. But it isn’t surprising that many doctors focus on extending life. Research has found that 70% of people aged over 65 have not discussed end-of-life care with their doctors. Plus, it is their main job role, to support those who need medical attention.
However, offering some care just isn’t practical. In fact, there are several benefits for medical professionals to switch care to hospice care for their own practices. Here are three:
Research has shown that those who are given hospice care are less likely to be readmitted to hospital within 30 days and in-hospital deaths are reduced. Re-admittance is a strain on the health system and reduces patient experience.
An investigation by BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care discovered a link between hospice care and better care in the last six months of life. One of the biggest advantages was the improvement in clinical outcomes, like a decrease in ICU treatment and lower hospital mortality rates. The research also found that pain control was improved in hospice care and general patient satisfaction was higher.
It isn’t just the patients you need to think about. Care about the family’s experience should also be considered. Only 45% of families will report excellent care when a family member dies within 30 days of being admitted into intensive care.
But it’s also the question about where they died that’s important. If less than three days of hospice care are given, then only 40% of families report their loved one died in their location of choice. If they received more than three days of hospice care, then 73% of family members will say their loved one died in the location of choice.
Hospice care provision might not sound attractive to you as a medical professional. But it could be a way to offer greater patient satisfaction and give a dignified and comfortable end-of-life. How you offer this to your patients is up to you, but it could improve the image of your clinic.
Do you need to offer hospice care? What other benefits are there of hospice care?
Let us know in the comments.