This is the time of year when we look at our statistics and figures from 2012 and start preparing our annual report to the community. One figure I’d like to pull out is the number 65. That was the average number of days patients were under our care last year. Just over two months. That means that some patients had the benefit of our care for much longer, but that some only experienced it for a few days or even a few hours.
The Medicare hospice benefit has strict guidelines that we must, and do, follow. But it saddens me to think that patients and families could have more help, more support, more encouragement, more pain-free days if they could have had our care for longer.
I hope that next year, that particular number can be a little higher than 65. If you have thoughts about how to encourage doctors, patients or families to access our help sooner, rather than later, I would love to hear from you!