In an effort to make sure patients are properly referred to hospice care, San Francisco-based Hospice by the Bay has introduced a mobile application providing physicians with a criteria for eligibility of care, a drug formulary that reviews how to treat certain symptoms, and guidelines for end-of-life care by type of diagnosis.
The app also includes educational materials to help physicians feel more comfortable with hospice care, including a video about how to have the hospice care conversation with a patient or family, bios of Hospice by the Bay’s medical directors, and links out to articles about the benefits of hospice and palliative care.
“That’s often a barrier, because it’s a very difficult conversation to have,” [David Zwicky, director of business strategy at Hospice by the Bay] said. “Our medical directors do this day in and day out, and we thought it would be good to give that advice to a clinician.”
Finally, the app allows doctors to hit the “Refer Now” button and either call the hospice on the phone or fill out a form on the app to submit a written referral. Physicians can lock in information about themselves that they might enter over and over again, or they can use the phone number for a consultation, Zwicky said.
Previously: How a Stanford physician became a leading advocate for palliative care, Stanford introduces web-based mini-fellowship program on successful aging, The importance of patient/doctor end-of-life discussions and A Stanford nurse shares her experience in talking to her aging mother about end-of-life decisions, Talking about a loved one’s end-of-life wishes