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Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016 12:06 am

HOSPICE CHANGES

St. Johns Hospital

 

St. John’s Hospital is evaluating the future of its hospice unit as part of an overhaul of skilled nursing care at the hospital, which is decreasing the number of beds for folks whose needs can be met outside hospitals. “We are actually in the process of reducing our skilled nursing facility beds, and hospice is part of that,” said Ann Derrick, executive director of post acute care at the hospital. While the hospital is eliminating most of the 37 skilled nursing beds in the hospital, no decision has been made on the 13-bed hospice unit. “We don’t know what it’s going to look like,” Derrick said. “We’re trying to talk to staff to figure out what the model is going to be. … Can we do a hospice unit in a community setting? Does it have to be within our hospital walls?” The hospice unit includes registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and nursing assistants, Derrick said, and also offers pastoral care. Members of the hospice team also provide in-home care and help for families that are caring for loved ones outside the hospital’s hospice unit. Derrick said that there are no plans to reduce hospice staff. “I don’t want anyone to leave,” she said. “We have such talented people.”

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