Local Hospital Liaisons
Meet Your Big Bend Hospice and Transitions Supportive Care Liaisons
These coordinators are often on-site and can always assist you with referrals of patients and their families from the hospital to Big Bend Hospice or Transition Supportive Care. They are also your contact to provide education, support, and problem-solving for patients, families, and health care professionals on palliative and hospice care.
If you are unsure about referring to hospice or supportive care, our staff is available for consults by calling (850) 878-5310
WHEN TO MAKE A REFERRAL TO BIG BEND HOSPICE
Patients are eligible for hospice care when they have an advanced illness and a life expectancy of 6months or less, as determined by a physician. They also must desire hospice care, which stressescomfort and pain management over disease-modifying therapies. At the end of 6 months, the patientwill be reassessed to determine if hospice is still appropriate considering the progress of the disease.
A patient who might be eligible for and benefit from hospice care may demonstrate some of these symptoms:
- Unplanned weight loss
- Excessive sleeping throughout the day
- Multiple hospital visits/stays in the past six months
- Excessive swelling of the legs and ankles,even when feet are propped up
- Difficulty breathing, even at rest or withincreased oxygen levels
- Weakness during activities of daily living
- Frequent changes in medications
- Pain that is poorly controlled
- Loss of interest in activities
- Not “bouncing back” after an illness
- Not responding to current treatments or therapy
- Loss of appetite or speech
- Wounds that are not healing and/or infections
- Not sleeping through the night due to pain,shortness of breath, or other symptoms
WHEN TO MAKE A REFERRAL to TRANSITIONS SUPPORTIVE CARE
Our focus is on helping patients manage their symptoms and the stressors that often accompany aserious illness. Supportive Care can be had while seeking curative treatments. The goal of supportivecare is to improve the patient’s overall quality of life by supporting them throughout their illness andassisting the family in finding additional free, community resources that improve their quality of life.
A patient who might be eligible for and benefit from supportive care may demonstrate some of these symptoms:
- Two or more hospital admissions for the same diagnosis within 3 months (CHF, COPD, ESRD,CVA, CA, dementia with reoccurring infections),or 3+ admissions in the last 12 months.
- Persistent, troublesome symptoms despiteoptimal treatment of underlying conditions.
- Artificial nutrition/hydration requested by family or patient where the patient has short anticipated survival from their underlying condition, or for dementia.
- Metastatic Cancer.
- Significant weight loss of 5-10% over the past 3-6 months and/or a low body mass index.
- Major function change: ambulation with a walker only, wheel-chair bound.
- Patient or family concern regarding advanceddisease progression/death and/or no knowledgeof Advanced Directive.
- Patient is a full code with an overall poor diagnosis.
- Patient or family requests Supportive or Palliative Care consultation.