Hospice of Mercy Referrals and Admission Criteria
Hospice care is most effective in helping improve the quality of life when referrals are made early in the diagnosis. This allows our team sufficient time to assess the patient's needs and coordinate services for the family's needs.
Indications for Referrals
These are a few major indications for referrals:
- The patient has a terminal illness that limits life expectancy to six months or less if the disease follows its normal course. The terminal illness may be cancer, end-stage cardiac, pulmonary, renal, or neurological disease, or AIDS.
- The focus of treatment is on palliative (comfort) care.
- There is a history of multiple, frequent hospitalizations.
- The patient requires close monitoring or titration of medications used in pain and symptom management.
- A needs exists for skilled nursing, emotional support for the patient and family, and training for the caregiver on how to care for a loved one.
Initial referrals are accepted from the primary physician, social worker, nurse, patient, family, or any other participants in the patient's care.
Referrals and information consultations are available at no charge.
How to Begin Referral
These are the steps undertaken to begin a referral:
- Contact Hospice of Mercy at (319) 398-6496.
- Be prepared to provide initial information on the patient's diagnosis, prognosis and needs. The physician will be contacted for approval of admission to Hospice of Mercy, and to give further orders or a reason for not admitting the patient to the hospice program.
- Hospice of Mercy will arrange a referral visit at the hospital before discharge, at the patient's home or at the nursing home. In most cases, this can take place within 24 hours of the initial referral.
- A consultation will be encouraged early in the patient's treatment process to provide them information about hospice services. This may ease the patient's transition to hospice care if the disease becomes terminal.
- The prognosis is limited.
- The focus of care is on comfort.
- The patient and family know about the diagnosis and consent to hospice services.
- The patient lives in our service area.
- The patient and family know and accept that hospice is primarily home care.
Contact the Hospice of Mercy office at (319) 398-6496 to make a referral or for more information.