Health Care Worker Perceptions of Gaps and Opportunities to Improve Hospital-to-Hospice Transitions
Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences
Health Services Administration | Health Services Research | Palliative Care
Background: Care transitions from the hospital to hospice are a difficult time, and gaps during this transitions could cause poor care experiences and outcomes. However, little is known about what gaps exist in the hospital-to-hospice transition.
Objectives: To understand the process of hospital-to-hospice transition and identify common gaps in the transition that result in unsafe or poor patient and family caregiver experiences.
Design: We conducted a qualitative descriptive study using semistructured interviews with health care workers who are directly involved in hospital-to-hospice transitions. Participants were asked to describe the common practice of discharging patients to hospice or admitting patients from a hospital, and share their observations about hospital-to-hospice transition gaps.
Setting/Subjects: Fifteen health care workers from three hospitals and three hospice programs in Portland, Oregon.
Measurements: All interviews were audio recorded and analyzed using qualitative descriptive methods to describe current practices and identify gaps in hospital-to-hospice transitions.
Results: Three areas of gaps in hospital-to-hospice transitions were identified: (1) low literacy about hospice care; (2) changes in medications; and (3) hand-off information related to daily care. Specific concerns included hospital providers giving inaccurate descriptions of hospice; discharge orders not including comfort medications for the transition and inadequate prescriptions to manage medications at home; and lack of information about daily care hindering smooth transition and continuity of care.
Conclusion: Our findings identify gaps and suggest opportunities to improve hospital-to-hospice transitions that will serve as the basis for future interventions to design safe and high-quality hospital-to-hospice care transitions.
care transitions, discharge planning, hospice
DOI of Published Version
J Palliat Med. 2019 Dec 31. doi: 10.1089/jpm.2019.0513. [Epub ahead of print] Link to article on publisher's site
Journal of palliative medicine
Izumi S, Noble BN, Candrian CB, Tjia J, Bordley J, Mensik J, Furuno JP. (2019). Health Care Worker Perceptions of Gaps and Opportunities to Improve Hospital-to-Hospice Transitions. Population and Quantitative Health Sciences Publications. https://doi.org/10.1089/jpm.2019.0513. Retrieved from https://escholarship.umassmed.edu/qhs_pp/1316