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How to Become the Go-To Funeral Home for Hospice Care Providers

nurse with elderly man smiling

Become the go-to funeral home for hospice care providers by showing them how Passare works. Learn tips and tricks from one Texas funeral home you can apply today. 

By Kelly Gilgenbach, Vice President of Sales 

Most of your families depend on hospice staff, nurses, counselors, and other medical professionals to help them through a time of loss. Families also depend on you. The question is, how do you communicate and collaborate with hospice programs to help imminent need families through grief and their transition after a loss 

The Statistics 

Most deaths in the U.S. occur outside of the home, and based on the latest CDC statistics

  • 47% of deaths occurred in a hospital or medical facility 

  • 22% of deaths occurred in a nursing home or long-term care facility 

  • 25% of deaths occurred at home 

In 2016, 1.04 million Medicare beneficiaries died in hospice care (NHPCO Report), meaning that roughly 38% to 40% of all deaths in the U.S. occur under hospice care. Due to this fact, those in the funeral profession must learn how to collaborate with medical teams to provide a more comprehensive, supportive system of care for families at the end of life. 

One Funeral Home’s Experience 

Rader Funeral Home in Longview, Texas, developed a hospice outreach program to provide better communication among funeral professionals, medical staff, and families and enhanced care and support once the loss occurred. Community Relations Coordinator Erika Rader discusses her experience with this program and shares a few tips along the way. 

Tip #1: Connect with Hospice Programs in Your Community

Erika shared how presentations and volunteering helped her connect with hospice programs in her community.

"I gave general presentations to keep those relationships strong, and volunteered with the hospices on events. I handed out planning guides for the nurses to give to families, so we already had these existing relationships, which was great."

Go deeper: Learn more about this point in Erika's hospice collaboration journey and how she built relationships with hospice staff in this webinar.

Tip #2: Show Passare to Hospice Care Providers 

In the first article, Erika explained that she keeps hospice relationships strong by giving presentations and volunteering at hospice events. Through her presentations, Erika has found that the hospice care workers cannot get enough of learning more about Passare: 

“The success with the hospices has been overwhelming. I feel like Passare has opened up a whole new conversation. The hospices that I work with really love hearing about it. Before, I was covering a wide range of topics when I visited hospice centers. Now, the hospices that I have talked to want me to come back continually to talk about Passare and how we're using it with families. It’s really exciting that they're so excited about what a wonderful service this is for their families.” 

Tip #3: Enhance Service to Families 

Although everyone at Rader is very happy with the Passare platform now, it took some work to initially get everyone at the funeral home on board, Erika said: 

“My husband is a fourth-generation funeral director, and as we know, change in the funeral business is slow. Technology is changing our world so fast, and even being an industry that doesn't see much change, we still have to keep up with the times and what families are used to in other areas of their lives. Really, the most important thing is to care for the families and make them feel comfortable. We're in a world where everything is done electronically. I think some funeral directors may misunderstand what Passare is all about because it involves technology, but that doesn’t mean that you are taking out the human element. You still see a director; you still have that personalized care. Our directors still get to know their families, pray with their families and grieve with their families. Passare is not replacing the funeral director; it is actually enhancing that family's experience with the funeral director. 

smiling nurse with family in the backgroundYou can do what Erika did and narrow your focus to improve communication. Like she said, you can: 

  • Give focused presentations about how Passare works and show many of the collaborative benefits, like the Planning Center and Passare’s unlimited users and devices. 

  • Explain how Passare enhances the family’s experience with funeral professionals and hospice staff.  

  • With the hospice programs on board, you can nurture those relationships to gain referrals and get them excited to collaborate on Passare. 

This article was just an excerpt of a longer case study eBookDownload the FREE eBook, with even more tips for growing community connections with hospice workers. 

 In the next article, we will look at how you can increase opportunities for collaboration with hospice nurses and provide a best-in-class service.