November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month in the United States. Hospice caregivers help people facing terminal illness by providing pain management and support tailored to individual needs and wishes. This model requires tremendous compassion, coordination and customization.

We recently talked with two of our clients to learn more about how they use Allscripts HomecareTM to meet the unique demands of hospice care. To learn more, check out this video:

Thanks to both Patti Nichols, Clinical Records Team Lead, Pathways Hospice (Fort Collins, CO, USA) and Jill McKinnie, HIM Director, Cornerstone Hospice (Tavares, FL, USA) for sharing their experiences.

Hospice program for pet-owners: Pet Peace of Mind

Our hospice clients excel at many things, especially the three C’s. Jill gave a great example of how her team created a program to help care for patients’ pets:

An interesting aspect of our electronic health record is our organization has a program called Pet Peace of Mind. We have found that patients that are dying are very concerned for their pets and need them to be cared for. 

What we have done is in our health record we have an area where we ask that information on admission so that we know what may be needed and then we provide follow up during that time.

We had a patient that needed to go to the hospice house.  He was very ill, but he refused to leave his home because his pet could not be cared for.  So, actually our entire staff — social worker, IT department, clinical department — went together. We went out, rescued the dog, found it a home, took it to its new home and then we had prepared information to give back to the patient so that he would know exactly what happened.

Believe it or not this occurred on a Thursday, the patient went to the hospice house on Friday and he died on Sunday.  Peacefully, knowing that his information and his things had been taken care of, his pet was safe, he was safe and he was able to continue with what he needed to do. 

This program illustrates how hospice caregivers really listen and respond to their patients with compassionate, coordinated and customized care.

Thank you, hospice caregivers

On behalf of Allscripts, I’d like to thank hospice caregivers for their dedication to compassionate care. If you’d like to share an encouraging word for hospice caregivers, please do so in the comments below.

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About the author

Martha Thorne, senior vice president, oversees the Population Health business unit, which provides a comprehensive portfolio of solutions to help clients coordinate care, engage patients, manage chronic diseases and achieve operational excellence. Her vision for Allscripts CareInMotionTM, a comprehensive suite of population health solutions, aligns with the healthcare industry’s evolution from fee-for-service to value-based care. Previously, Martha led the Performance & Care Logistics business unit of Allscripts, which included a suite of solutions for care coordination and management as well as post-acute care. Prior to this assignment, Martha served as Vice President for Solution Sales & Strategic Initiatives. In this role she directed strategic planning and go-to-market strategies for the Allscripts solution set and strategic partner solutions company-wide, across all venues of care.


Mickey Ross says:

11/21/2013 at 10:23 am

I loved this story. I personally want to thank every compassionate caregiver that reads this for what you do every day. The example about the terminal patient’s pet brought back memories in my life from a family member who needed to know the things he held most dear were taken care of so he could pass away in peace. Compassionate care clinicians know how to find out what that “something” is. Thank you so much for what you do.


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