The hospice interdisciplinary team (IDT) serves a very important function in hospice care. It includes physicians, nurses, home health aides, social workers, counselors, chaplains, therapists and trained volunteers who work together to address a hospice patient’s physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. The holistic approach for the hospice interdisciplinary team enables members of different disciplines to evaluate and provide feedback to the care plan. The team develops a plan of care designed to meet each patient’s individual needs for pain management and symptom control, while supporting his/her loved ones.

The Hospice Conditions of Participation state that the hospice interdisciplinary team must meet to “review, revise, and document the individualized plan as frequently as the patient’s condition requires, but no less frequently than every 15 calendar days.” Teams that are closely connected with a clear path of information flow conduct more productive meetings and provide better coordinated, comprehensive care, resulting in improved care quality and enhanced patient & caregiver satisfaction.

What are the key components of a successful Hospice Interdisciplinary Team Meeting?

  1. Easy Access to Information: The IDT meeting should not be the first time that members see notes, etc. from other disciplines. When all members of the team have immediate access to patient data, valuable time is saved in preparation and soliciting information from team members during the IDT meeting.
  2. Good Documentation: It goes without saying that good hospice documentation is at the core of your entire team’s success. Since hospice care is a team effort, each discipline must be aware of, and can contribute to the care that is being provided at all times. During IDT meetings, should a member of the team be absent, updates on delivered services can still be made without waiting for that person to return to give his/her report.
  3. Communication: Ensuring the flow of information between disciplines is important. This allows each member to contribute to the IDT meeting in an informed way. Day to day communication beyond the meetings is important as well. Providing frequent updates between team members is essential to ensuring that everyone is on the same page at all times. This can be done through phone calls, email, within the EHR software through messaging &/or documentation.

Running a successful hospice Interdisciplinary Team meeting doesn’t have to be difficult. The use of technology is a great way to enhance efficiency while still being thorough. Many hospice software systems, like firstHOSPICE, have integrated IDT-specific features that facilitate a productive IDT process. This includes IDT-specific documentation and reporting that can be reviewed during the IDT meeting and dataflow designed to populate necessary information from visit notes into IDT documents.

The HEALTHCAREfirst Difference

firstHOSPICE with CAREpliance™ technology is changing the way hospices of all sizes manage their hospice interdisciplinary meetings. Built from the ground up for hospice professionals, by hospice professionals, it empowers your team to work together to provide high quality care for end-of-life patients and the ones who love them. Want to learn how we can help ensure successful IDT meetings? Contact us today.