Improving Care Delivery of Live Discharge from Hospice
This project aims to develop a live discharge protocol (LDP) for hospice social workers to guide their assessment of the specific service and psychosocial needs for the patient and primary caregiver (PCG) post-hospice care. Currently, hospice practitioners must prepare patients and PCGs upon enrollment for the possibility of a live discharge due to ineligibility or their right to disenroll, yet, there is no explicit protocol available to support both the patient and PCG at the time of live discharge. As a Sojourns Scholar, I will develop the LDP with an advisory committee of end-of-life care experts (Goal 1). Next, the LDP will be implemented by hospice social workers (Goal 2) and evaluate the usability of the LDP by hospice social workers and the experience for the patient and/or PCG (Goal 3).
“My vision for the future encompasses individuals with life limiting illnesses and their caregivers to have a successful dying experience, as individually defined by each patient. Specifically, I want to improve access for individuals so that they can maintain hospice services despite a slower disease trajectory to increase service continuity and reduce fragmentation of hospice care. I am passionate and fully committed to improving access to, and care continuity and quality of hospice and palliative care at a national level. I want to continue promoting access to palliative care, which I see as an ongoing challenge within health systems and for palliative researchers. I aim to use my research skills to improve service delivery in hospice and palliative care. Additionally, the impact of COVID-19 and resulting chronic care needs and health issues is unknown. I see palliative care health professionals, researchers, and educators as being leaders in our post-pandemic world, and I want to be a part of the important national discussions that are happening now and in the future. Palliative care is primed to lead national and international efforts to support individuals, caregivers, and communities.”