255314 Hospice: Quality of care ratings by patients and families

Monday, October 29, 2012

Robert Wolosin, PhD , Research, Press Ganey Associates, South Bend, IN
The Hospice movement in the US began in the 1970's. It is estimated that in 2008, approximately 4,000 Medicare-certified hospice programs existed in the US; that number is expected to grow as Baby Boomers age. From the patient's and family's perspective, getting the desired level of hospice care in a timely way can spell the difference between anguish and serenity. How do hospice patients and their families rate the care provided by hospice services? This presentation will share the results of patient satisfaction surveys done on behalf of hospices by a healthcare consulting firm. Approximately 18,000 surveys collected in 2010, representing over 100 hospice programs, provided data. The previously-validated survey contained several background items (e.g., patient age) and 43 items pertaining to quality of care, arranged into five subscales or “sections.” Patients rated each item (e.g., “Helpfulness of the person who answered the phone”) on a 5-point scale ranging from “Very Poor” to “Very Good.” Responses were converted to a 100-point scale. Overall results show that patients and families are relatively satisfied with issues pertaining to the care itself; they are less satisfied with logistics such as staffing and scheduling. According to an index combining program performance and issue importance, three of the top 4 “priority” items reflected administrative actions such as changing the care schedule and making staff available when needed. Results also suggest that hospice services delivered in dedicated hospice inpatient units are more satisfactory than those delivered in other ways.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Program planning
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
At the end of this session, participants will be able to describe (1) the aspects of hospice care found to be most and least satisfactory among patients and their families; (2) patient and family priorities in hospice care.

Keywords: Community-Based Care, Elderly

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a PhD Social Psychologist and have worked in the Research and Analytics Department of Press Ganey Associates, Inc. for over nine years. I manage survey research on a daily basis. I have published peer-reviewed papers and have presented at national and international conferences including the Medical Group Management Association, the National Association for Healthcare Quality, and the International Society for Quality in Health Care.
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
Press Ganey Associates, Inc. Survey research Employment (includes retainer)

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 3279.0: End of Life Care