5 Successful Strategies to Collaborate with Hospice
November 17, 2022
Collaborating with hospice gives funeral directors an opportunity to communicate the value of their services and build relationships. However, this opportunity comes with challenges. Some hospice nurses tend to suggest the easiest and fastest forms of funeral service and aftercare, and sadly, funeral directors often get left out. You know the benefit of making arrangements in advance, but it can be hard - and sometimes even too late - to bring this up after a loved one has passed in hospice. We can help.
Build stronger relationships with hospice
Getting more involved in the early parts of planning will make you a strategic partner for hospice workers. Working alongside hospice to provide the best experience for families makes for a seamless transition from their care to yours.
If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve put together some helpful ways to start building a stronger relationship with hospice staff, so you don’t get left out.
1. Communicate consistently and regularly with hospice nurses
Establishing a point person to have regular communications with hospice is your first step. This person can be your outreach coordinator, community spokesperson, etc. If you don’t have someone to fill this role, here’s what you need to get started.
Have a designated person take hospice calls. Think about the value of being able to call your personal representative when you need help with your Wi-Fi or phone service. You know each other’s names and are familiar with working together to get things done. By giving hospice nurses a consistent personal contact, they will begin to build trust and a relationship with your funeral home.
2. Educate hospice staff about your services
Bring awareness to the value of your services and your heart for helping others by offering educational resources and giving presentations to hospice staff.
Have hospice specific materials ready to give to nurses. This can look like brochures, hand-outs, or booklets with details about funeral service, aftercare, and more. Make sure to include details about what your funeral home has to offer so they’re aware of what’s available to their families. Providing these resources will:
Help them understand the benefits of funeral services
Reveal important questions they should be asking families
Empower them to educate families about your services
You can deliver informational resources by giving presentations to local hospice groups. Set up a time to speak with staff members about the value of funeral service. This is a great way to connect with individual staff members and provide them with valuable knowledge about your services.
TIP: Bonus points if you offer continuing education with those presentations. 😊
3. Get involved in the community
Collaborate with hospice nurses at community events to show your support and build awareness of your business. Here are a few ways to get involved:
Participate in Remembrance Days. Include hospice staff in the grief and mourning process while educating families about both of your services.
Get involved in volunteer events to build unity between your funeral home and hospice staff and promote your business to the community.
4. Care for hospice staff like you care for families
Don’t stop communicating with hospice staff after gaining their referrals. Nurses get to know the decedent and their family throughout patient care, and they grieve just like anyone else. Your experience qualifies you to empathize with them as they might grieve the loss of a patient. Start caring for them like you do for your families to maintain a strong relationship after the planning process is over.
You can also work together to offer aftercare for families in both of your care. You likely have aftercare service options available for families at your funeral home, so make sure your hospice contacts know about these services so they can promote them to families.
5. Use a collaboration tool
Show nurses how to use your software so they feel comfortable teaching families how to use it to start planning earlier in the process.
Passare’s Planning Center is a cloud-based collaboration tool that allows you, hospice nurses, and families to work alongside each other to plan and collect details for the future service. Planning Center will make your life easier, but without teaching it to hospice workers, it will be a source of frustration.
Teach hospice staff how to use Planning Center so they can begin collecting details and vital statistics throughout patient care. You can work together in Planning Center until it comes time to invite the family to collaborate. If hospice staff is educated on your software, they’ll feel more comfortable inviting families and showing them how to use it.
Outreach is simple
Building your outreach program starts with taking what you know about funeral service and families and telling others about it. Communicating regularly and providing resources empowers hospice nurses to educate themselves and families about the value of your services. Working together to give families the best experience will make you the go-to funeral home in your community.
Download our Hospice Case Study eBook to read more about connecting with hospice groups to elevate your funeral home’s success.