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Hospice Services Availability in Healthcare Facilities Essay

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Updated: Nov 15th, 2020


Primary physicians use their competencies to provide evidence-based healthcare services to their patients. The success of the healthcare delivery process is dictated by the ancillary services available in the medical facility. Without the provision of adequate ancillary services, healthcare practitioners and doctors would be unable to provide evidence-based medical care to their patients (Younts, 2015). Custodial services are critical towards supporting the health outcomes of many clients. Hospice care is one of the ancillary services needed in every healthcare setting. This discussion focuses on the benefits and emerging issues surrounding the future of hospice care.

Targeted Ancillary Service: Hospice

The selected ancillary service for this analysis is hospice. The term “hospice” refers to a specialized form of care aimed at supporting advanced illness patients (Lindley, Mixer, & Cozad, 2016). This kind of ancillary service mainly focuses on patients’ quality of life and comfort. The issue of cure is not taken seriously whenever providing hospice care. The ultimate goal of hospice is to ensure the client leads a pain-free, comfortable, and quality life (Thompson et al., 2014). Throughout the hospice process, death is something that is treated as a natural occurrence.

Several functions are provided during the hospice care process. To begin with, the hospice care providers manage the symptoms and pain experienced by the client. The other function is to provide psychosocial, spiritual, and emotional support (Wordingham & Swetz, 2015). Members of the family are educated and guided on how to provide adequate care to the targeted patent. Counseling and bereavement care should be provided to every surviving family member after the patient’s death (Wordingham & Swetz, 2015). The right equipment to improve the quality of life can be provided during the process.

The hospice department is incomplete without some key personnel. The department should have an executive director to manage the activities undertaken by different workers. The leadership staff includes community relations management, nursing care coordinator, and development coordinator. The department should have different players in the bereavement and grief department (Thompson et al., 2014). The role of such players is to improve the health outcomes of targeted clients. The department cannot realize its goals without several skilled caregivers, physicians, nurses, and practitioners (Thompson et al., 2014).

This department augments the performance of the other sections in a healthcare institution. For instance, the department supports the duties of different physicians. The healthcare delivery department finds the hospice section relevant to supporting patients in need of critical care (Wordingham & Swetz, 2015). The other departments involved throughout the healthcare delivery can present powerful insights and support to the hospice unit. Hospice care is therefore provided in nursing homes, hospitals, and long-term care institutions. The ultimate goal of hospice care is to ensure more clients lead quality lives.

Trends Impacting Hospice Care

Nursing shortage

The healthcare sector is grappling with the problem of the nursing shortage. Burnout, fatigue and long working hours are forcing hospice care workers to seek new employment opportunities (Thompson et al., 2014). This development shows clearly that many hospice departments might lose their workers. This trend will force many hospice institutions to come up with ingenious methods in an attempt to realize their goals.

Modern technology for client-caregiver satisfaction

New regulations have emerged in an attempt to understand the experiences of both caregivers and clients in hospice settings (Lindley et al., 2016). The Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) program has established a meaningful standard for monitoring and reporting patient satisfaction. The gathered data can be used to ensure more consumers choose the right providers of quality hospice care.

Impact of the Above Trends

The nursing shortage is a developing trend that will affect hospice care negatively unless adequate measures are implemented. Many hospice departments will lose their practitioners and find it hard to provide quality care to their clients. The healthcare professionals in hospice settings might quit their jobs in the future due to burnout, stress, and fatigue (Wordingham & Swetz, 2015). Hospice organizations that fail to improve the experiences of their nurses and caregivers will record high turnover rates (Thompson et al., 2014). Consequently, more patients will terminal diseases will be unable to lead quality lives. That being the case, it will be appropriate for hospice institutions to implement powerful strategies such as educational opportunities and wellness for their workers. The institutions should also attract talented professionals to achieve their goals.

The standard established by the CAHPS is guiding hospice institutions to identify the critical issues facing their workers and clients (Younts, 2015). The institutions are focusing on new resources that can result in a commendable performance. Hospice providers planning to remain competitive can identify new strategies to support the wellbeing of their clients and healthcare workers. The ultimate goal is to improve the level of collaboration between patients and their clients. This trend will ensure more hospice providers use modern technologies to monitor the health needs of their patients. The “implementation of innovation methods will improve every aspect of the hospice care experience” (Wordingham & Swetz, 2015, p. 31).

Implications for the Above Trends for a Healthcare Administrator

Analysis of the Trends

The outlined trends have the potential to transform how hospice care is delivered to many clients in need of critical care. The first trend revolves around the issue of the nursing shortage. This problem affects the performance of the healthcare sector. More practitioners and nurses are looking for new careers to lead quality lives (Younts, 2015). Hospice providers who are aware of this trend can implement new strategies to ensure quality care is available to patients with terminal diseases.

The other trend revolves around the CAHPS program. The Center for Medicare Services (CMS) implemented the program to help hospice organizations identify the unique issues in caregiver and patient experiences (Lindley et al., 2016). When the experiences improve, the hospice providers will find it easier to reduce expenses and support the needs of critical care workers. Additionally, the targeted clients will lead quality lives despite the health conditions affecting them (Kelley & Morrison, 2015). Modern technologies can present meaningful data that can be used to improve the experiences of more patients.

Capitalizing on the Trends

A healthcare administrator (HA) stands a chance to capitalize on these trends to drive performance. To begin with, it will be necessary to embrace the aspects of the CAHPS program. This means that the healthcare leader will identify innovative measures that can improve the level of cooperation between nurses and their clients in need of critical care (James, 2015). The HA can embrace the help of consultants to develop better healthcare delivery models in the hospice environment. The HA can train every staff member to become competent providers of quality hospice care. Data can be gathered promptly and interpreted in an attempt to improve the quality of care.

It will be appropriate for the NA to address the problem of nursing shortage from a critical approach (James, 2015). The NA should become competent whenever recruiting new workers to occupy various positions. The current staff members can be motivated using increased wages and benefits (Kelley & Morrison, 2015). The hospice organization should focus on the performance of leading providers and embrace the best practices. The workplace experience of every caregiver should be improved. The hospice caregivers can also be supported using welfare programs, career opportunities, employee involvement, and team-building opportunities. These initiatives can make it easier for more hospice facilities to realize their goals.

Mitigating Negative Impacts

Several measures can be undertaken to mitigate the negative impacts of the identified trends. For instance, the nursing shortage can result in a turnover and eventually affect the effectiveness of the care provided in a given hospice facility (Younts, 2015). The increased levels of burnout and dissatisfaction can force nurses to quit their jobs. NAs can focus on the best measures to attract more caregivers. Better salaries improved working conditions, and rewards will result in positive performance. The use of the CAHPS program can strain the financial position of the targeted hospice institution. The program also requires advanced technologies. Competent professionals should be hired to support the program. The implementation process can also encounter some resistance. The health administrator can acquire adequate resources to support the program. A powerful change implementation model such as Kurt Lewin’s theory can minimize the level of resistance among the targeted workers (Kelley & Morrison, 2015). Such measures will eventually drive performance in the targeted hospice care facility.


James, E. (2015). Ancillary services: A key to cutting costs? Property & Casualty 360, 1(1), 1-3.

Kelley, A., & Morrison, S. (2015). Palliative care for the seriously ill. The New England Journal of Medicine, 373(8), 747-755.

Lindley, L., Mixer, S., & Cozad, M. (2016). The influence of nursing unit characteristics on RN vacancies in specialized hospice and palliative care. American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Medicine, 33(6), 568-573.

Thompson, S., Varvel, S., Voros, S., Thiselton, D., Grami, S., Turner, R. M.,…Barron, J. (2014). The changing role of ancillary health care service providers: An evaluation of Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Inc. Population Health Management, 17(2), 121-126.

Wordingham, S., & Swetz, K. (2015). Overview of palliative care and hospice services. Clinical Liver Disease, 6(2), 30-32.

Younts, J. (2015). In-office ancillary services exception. Reimbursement Advisor, 30(7), 5-10.

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