Jun 28 2022
Jun 28 2022
Reading Time: 4 minutes
By: Christie McWilliams, RN, Implementation Consultant, CitusHealth
In hospice and palliative care, internal communication is the key to providing quality care to patients and family caregivers. Communicating seamlessly begins at the start of care, allowing care teams to stay up to date on patient statuses—and patient discussion groups (PDGs) are the most ideal way to achieve this level of collaboration.
PDGs are customizable chat threads for a single patient that are strictly for staff and external partners—not patients or their caregivers. Here are four reasons hospice and palliative care organizations need a digital solution that offers PDGs.
PDGs simplify communication.
During the recertification process, care teams must prove why patients still need hospice, show evidence of decline, and share anything to justify continued service. To do this effectively, staff often use notes to record PPS scores, changes in medication dosage, increased symptoms, or increased frequency of visits.
The PDG is a great place for that because the care team can have these notes all in one thread, keeping all relevant staff up to date on patient status—simplifying the recertification process.
From referral to discharge, the PDG is an effective way to share information about the patient and their families. During the referral process, the sales or liaison team can upload any documentation needed into the PDG. As the patient moves through to admission, a different team can be added to the PDG. Updates to the patient’s care can be documented here so that all members of the care team are updated.
Interdisciplinary group (IDG) updates, recertification information, patient and family preferences for visit times—the PDG is a great place for these because the care team can have notes all in one thread, keeping relevant staff up to date on patient status and simplifying the communication process.
PDG message threads can be integrated.
When using PDGs to communicate, it allows the entire care team to chime in—helping to ensure notes are detailed and keeping staff up to date on care, no matter how involved they’ve been in the care journey. Notes can be tagged and pushed to the EHR for even further efficiency, reducing the need for dual entry and likely human error.
PDGs offer real-time updates.
With PDGs, any updates made to the discussion thread are in real time. This means there are no delays in patient information reaching care team staff and there’s no more reliance on email and phone calls to communicate internally about patient care.
PDGs allow users to communicate about forms.
Sending and receiving forms manually via email or fax is a thing of the past. With the CitusHealth Forms Center, care teams can easily create forms and send them to internal staff or external partners. These forms can then be discussed within the PDG, tagged for easy access, and signed electronically if needed.
Anything from medication delivery releases, revocations, transfers, volunteer requests, consents, palliative screenings, burden interviews, no-harm agreements, bereavement referrals, therapy referrals, interim orders, or physician orders—the sky’s the limit when forms are electronic, allowing care teams to stay connected to each other along with referral sources, physicians, and any other partners involved in care.
When discussions about patient care are made available to everybody in the PDG in real time, they don’t have to search for it. PDGs save time by having everything in one place and provide access to those not on the EHR. It’s an automated flow of information, giving care teams consistent updates on patient status and needs.
What can PDGs do for your hospice or palliative care organization? Schedule a CitusHealth demo today to experience the difference seamless communication can make.