3 Ways to Strengthen Your Relationship with Hospice
June 02, 2023
Written by Kaley Young, Account Executive at Passare
How does your funeral home work with local hospice nurses?
If you’re like a lot of funeral directors, you understand a relationship with hospice is important, but you don’t do anything beyond working with them when they let you know of a death.
Collaborating with hospice can help both of you provide better service to families in your care. Though hospice organizations can’t recommend one funeral home over another, you should still focus on an outreach plan that will help you successfully bridge the gap between hospice and your funeral home.
But most funeral homes don’t know where to start. That’s okay!
In this article, you can learn how to build a successful outreach plan in just 3 steps.
Let’s get started!
Step #1: Start communicating.
Creating a successful outreach plan is simply taking what you know about funerals and sharing that information with others.
That all starts with open communication.
Imagine talking to a friend who declares he’s in love.
“I can’t live without her,” he says.
You ask where he met her.
“Well, I can’t say I’ve met her or really talked to her. But I have passed by her a few times.”
Regardless of your friends' feelings, there’s no chance of any relationship without communication.
As silly as this example is, without realizing it, funeral homes do the same thing with hospice. Different people handle removals for your funeral home and answer hospice calls, which means that hospice workers may never meet you face to face. It’s hard to build a relationship with someone you never see or talk to.
That’s why we recommend picking one person, a point person, that will build relationships and reach out to hospice on a regular basis.
This person should be the direct contact for hospice workers and help strengthen the trust hospice has in you and your funeral home, so they can vouch for you and the service you provide.
One of our customers developed a hospice outreach program that has been incredibly successful. Read about their experience here.
Step #2: Provide education.
Hospice nurses need YOU to educate them about your funeral home and what services you have to offer.
To become a reliable source of knowledge, you first must learn how hospice works and what type of information they need.
Start by researching websites, reading books, or listening to podcast episodes (like this interview with a hospice nurse) to know what they need from you.
Then provide them with the education they need to better understand the benefits of funeral service. Here are two different ways you can educate hospice about your funeral home:
Hand out informational brochures
Give presentations about important funeral information over topics like:
Preplanning a funeral with families
Final disposition and service options
Veteran and Medicare funeral benefits
How hospice and funeral homes can work together
Providing aftercare to families
We’ve even seen one funeral home give tours specifically for caregivers - this way, they can get familiar with your facilities, ask all their questions, and meet the rest of your staff!
For even more ideas, download our eBook Collaborating with Hospice to Provide Excellent Care to Families.
Step #3: Collaborate on community events.
As your relationship with hospice grows, so will your opportunities to collaborate. For things you’re already doing, like seminars and workshops, invite hospice to speak and share their knowledge. Other events may include:
Remembrance days, or scatter days, are ways to get the community together to remember loved ones that have passed. Invite families to scatter remains, light candles, or lay flowers. Partnering with hospice for these events could be a great way to include them in the grief and mourning process and give people an opportunity to learn more about what you and hospice offer.
If hospice is willing to contribute to your events, come help out at theirs. Get your name out there, build relationships, and take the opportunity to better understand hospice’s needs.
It may not technically be collaborating, but taking time to volunteer at a hospice event is a great way to get your name out there and build relationships. It also gives you a chance to understand where hospice may need help or resources.
The goal of these events is to show unity between your funeral home and hospice and to get to know families in your area. These events are great for brand recognition and beneficial for you, hospice, and families.
Find even more ways to work together with hospice
Families in hospice care are dependent on both you and hospice nurses, and that’s why working closely with hospice is so important for your funeral home.
Hopefully, this 3-step plan will help you build better relationships with hospice in your community and provide the best service to families in their care.
Learn more about how you can connect with hospice by reading our Hospice Guide.
Request a demo to see Passare here. 👇