Hospice Advisors Case Study
Title: Serving More Senior Living Community Patients
Company: A Hospice Company located in Texas
Date: January 14, 2015
Problem: Low Length of Stay.
Presenting Issues/Challenges: This hospice was very successful and had a strong base of hospital based patients. This was driving its Medium Length of Stay to 19.5. Census was 72. The clinical staff was burning out as they were spending all their time doing admissions and death visits. While efforts were being made to obtain referrals earlier, very little movement was seen in growing Length of Stay.
Plan of Action: This hospice made a decision to place an aggressive and comprehensive process in place to grow it Senior Living Communities referrals and admissions. Following were the salient points to a marketing and sales plan focused on Assisted Living, SNF’s and Independent Living Communities.
1. Establish a SNF Advisory Board.
The Professional Advisory Board (PAB) tactic is a simple but powerful way to get key customers around a table for dialogue. This hospice invited 2 people from each of the 7 buildings they were focusing on. I wrote in a previous post on how to implement a PAB.
2. Write a monthly Case Study.
A Case Study is a one page brief write up of a patient that was cared for in a SNF. The Case Study outline is as follows:
- Presenting Issues/Challenges
- Plan of Care/Actions
The objective is to use the Case Study as a teaching tool of what hospice can do. The goal is to pass out and use 50 Case Studies per SNF. I also wrote previously on how to develop and use a Case Study as an example.
3. Hold IDG Meetings at a SNF.
Interdisciplinary Group (IDG) meeting were held at the Senior Living Communities this hospice was focusing on and where they had patients. This is a creative way to engage a Senior Living Community in the care of their residents and along the way teach the staff more about hospice. The idea here is simple. Select a Senior Living Community where you have some patients and do your IDG meeting in this facility. Of course, ask the facility if you can hold the meeting there and ask them to participate in the part of the IDG as they discuss their residents.
4. Engage Your Medical Director.
In an earlier post I talked about how valuable your Medical Director can be in helping you execute a strategy. The suggestion here is to ask your Medical Director to connect you with physicians who work in your targeted facilities. Ask your Medical Director to help you reach your ADC goals per facility.
5. Collaborate with Home Care and Home Health Companies.
Determine who the preferred Home Care and Home Health Company (s) are in the facilities you are targeting. See if you can find a way to collaborate to bring double value to the Senior Community. I talked specifically about this in my October 7th post.
6. HHA and Nurse Service Standard Training.
There are two major customer groups in Senior Living Communities. The actual patients and families we care for and the staff themselves. There are some nurses and HHAs I would let take care of my loved ones!! But there would be NO WAY I would let in a facility as they have no customer and very poor communication skills. Invest in very specific customer and service standard training.
Eight months after deployment began the following outcomes were achieved:
- A medium Length of Stay that increased to 24 from 19.5.
- New relationships with several Home Health Care Companies.
- A staff development path for nurses and HHA that wanted to focus on hospice care in Senior Living Communities.
- Census grew to 81 from 72 in month 8.