Saturday, September 25, 2010
Successful Hospice-Nursing Home Partnerships (Research)
A hospice volunteer in Detroit nursing homes for many years, I am familiar with the benefits and problems that can occur when hospices and nursing homes operate as partners. These partnerships can work very well when certain best practices are followed. What do successful partnerships between hospices and nursing homes look like?
This study by Brown Medical School uses case studies of six nursing homes and hospices working collaboratively. Interviews were held with care providers and chief executive and financial officers regarding seven domains critical to successful collaboration. These were the results:
1) Nursing home-hospice collaborators were philosophically and otherwise aligned; they had similar missions, understood their differing approaches to care, and administrators demonstrated an openness and support for the collaboration.
2) Hospices developed infrastructures to correspond to the uniqueness and complexity of the nursing home environment. For example, they hired nurses with nursing home backgrounds, created teams dedicated to nursing home care, and trained hospice staff in problem solving and conflict resolution.
3) Care collaboration processes focused on the importance of two-way communication by actively soliciting and sharing information with nursing home staff and responding to nursing home staff and administrators' concerns.
This successful partnership model demonstrates how well collaboration can work when hospices and nursing home leaders commit to operating strategically using communication, flexibility, and skills to match staffing to the nursing home environment.
Frances Shani Parker, Author