Dec 20 2022
Reading Time: 4 minutes
By: Amanda Hannan, Customer Success Manager, CitusHealth
In this blog series, our CitusHealth employees share personal stories about their experiences having family members and loved ones in home-based or residential care—and how technology could have led to more positive outcomes.
When I was young, my mother became a hospice nurse and loved being an end-of-life caregiver. For her, it was the most compassionate and giving form of nursing she could do. The truth is, she would have likely continued hospice nursing throughout the rest of her career if it wasn’t for the extremely long hours and administrative burden that caused her to miss out on important pieces of my childhood.
We lived in rural Ohio, so she would start her day early in the morning to drive to the pharmacy or her first home visit. When she returned home in the evening, she would spend her time charting until late into the night — often missing my and my brother’s school activities, and too exhausted to be present with us at home. As a child, it was difficult experiencing my mom’s lack of work-life balance first-hand.
This very personal understanding of how the administrative burden that often falls on hospice nurses can affect them and their families is one of the biggest reasons I was interested in joining the CitusHealth team a little over a year ago.
An inside perspective on the life of a hospice nurse
My mom was passionate about her work and would often share stories with me about her time spent holding a patient’s hand, managing infusions, talking with caregivers, and trying her best to be present with them until she needed to leave for her next patient or to go back to the pharmacy. There were many calls to chaplains and physicians’ offices trying to coordinate care and keep orders straight, as well as playing phone tag with pharmacists to ensure medications were ready to pick up before her next home visit. Sometimes visits were done after hours to troubleshoot an IV pump or assess a rash.
As a child, it was difficult to fully understand the importance of her work. From my perspective, I felt like I didn’t know her anymore. I’d rarely see her, as she wasn’t home when I returned from school. And when she was home, she was getting caught up on work and she missed out on a lot of my and my brother’s milestones. I felt empathy toward her for always being tired and never feeling like her job was done for the day. And while I felt proud of her for the amazing work she was doing, I also resented her job when it took her away from me and my brother.
Technology is changing the hospice nurse experience
When I discovered CitusHealth and the many benefits it brings not only to hospice patients and their caregivers, but also to the nurses and their families, I wanted to be a part of it. Patient discussion groups allow nurses to communicate electronically in real time with any of the partners involved in care. From confirming orders with physicians to managing medications with pharmacists, communication is now at a nurse’s fingertips — creating efficiencies and eliminating the need for phone calls and after-hours work.
CitusHealth can also auto-populate documentation and allows nurses to chart in real time during and in between visits from their mobile device or tablets. With this approach, charting can be more accurate and efficient while allowing nurses to be engaged and present with their patients and families. This is monumental for staff and their families, who can now enjoy their lives at home without stressing about getting caught up on paperwork.
With the CitusHealth Messaging Center, unnecessary visits can be avoided. Patients or caregivers can send questions or photos directly to their hospice nurse and even speak live through video chat.
These examples of CitusHealth are just a small sample of the features that can take the administrative burden off hospice nurses. It transforms the chaos into organized, coordinated care that allows nurses to truly enjoy their time off. I understand the value of that kind of technology and I’m proud to be a part of making that change for nurses and their families.
Schedule a demo today to discover how CitusHealth can help hospice nurses and caregivers focus more on the patient and less on administrative tasks.