Since the establishment of the Holistic Care Department in 2012, we have recognized that the needs of our hospice patients and their families are complex. Many of our hospice patients boarding in the ER may suffer from a worse sense of helplessness than those hospitalized in the wards. They have the same needs and rights as any hospice patient:personal space, peace, support, and quiet time alone with their families. Thus, we have established a hospice team available in the ER so that these patients may receive adequate hospice support in our ER. These services include patient-family-caregiver meetings, basic medical care with appropriate plan of pain and symptom control, do not resuscitate orders and other arrangements. After our renovation in 2015, we have a space designed for our hospice patients where they may rest uninterrupted while being accompanied by their loved ones.

Our ER has been continually training and educating our nursing and medical staff in hospice care. There are currently two holistic care physicians along with two other emergency medicine physicians who are board certified in hospice palliative medicine. Our ER resident physicians are also required to do rotations in the hospice ward as part of their emergency medicine training. Two members of our nursing staff have also completed their hospice nursing care training and will work as our seed hospice nurses to continue educating and promoting hospice care in the ER.

Emergency department hospice care is to provide the best possible service for our hospice patients as well as helping those who might need such services to understand that hospice is a type of care that focuses on quality of life instead of continued treatment to prolong life.

What kind of services are provided?

  1. Appropriate palliative care to our hospice patients including pain and symptom control medication.
  2. A quiet comfortable space within the hustle and bustle of the ER for proper goodbyes.
  3. Patient-family-caregiver meetings to discuss treatment and care options so patients may have control and make decisions that are important to them while allowing their family to express their concerns.
  4. A hospice team of doctors, nurses, social workers, psychologists, and spiritual advisers to help both the patient and family through their difficult time.
  5.  Good communication and cooperation with Chi Mei Hospital’s Hospice Ward and Palliative Care Center, to provide seamless services to new and ongoing hospice patients.