System News

Thursday, November 16, 2023 - Roper Hospice gets 5-star family experience rating

The teammates of Roper Hospice provide care during one of the most sacred and vulnerable times in their patients' lives – the end.

That these caregivers are viewed so favorably by the family members their patients have left behind is a testament to the compassion they show during such a sensitive time, department leaders say.

November is National Home Care and Hospice Month, an observance to celebrate these professionals and educate others on end-of-life and serious-illness care.

Of all hospice providers in the Charleston area, Roper Hospice has the only five-star survey rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The CMS family caregiver experience survey includes eight different metrics, and Roper St. Francis Healthcare ranks above the national and statewide averages in each of them.Home Health and Hospice Director Dave Anderson said the team is proud to receive such positive feedback that shows excellence on a national level. And that positive feedback comes from people of all backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses, he said.

“Anytime someone is transitioning to the end of life, it’s tough for the patients and the family,” Anderson said. “The people who do this job have a calling, and they’re going to treat our patients the way they would want their own family to be treated.”

The team’s distinction is especially timely during National Home Care and Hospice Month. The teammates of Roper St. Francis Healthcare Home Health and Hospice provide care in the comfort of patients' homes, surrounded by their loved ones. The diverse care team is made up of physicians, nurses, social workers, counselors, dietitians, educators, pharmacists, therapists, aides and volunteers.

Teammates gathered recently for a regular meeting to discuss care plans for their patients, often laughing at the good stories and growing tearful at the sad ones: like the man who recently lost the high school sweetheart he had called his wife for more than 70 years.

Home Health and Hospice is a critical component in the continuum of care. This area of healthcare also has grown since the COVID-19 pandemic, as people began to expect quality care from the comfort of their own homes, Anderson said. Ensuring high-quality care at homes located throughout a broad region – Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties – can present challenges.

"But they're tirelessly doing that every day,” Anderson said of his teammates. “We appreciate the work that our entire team has done.”

Not only are they doing the job; they’re working to heal all people with compassion, faith and excellence – the mission of Roper St. Francis Healthcare.

In the CMS survey, 92 percent of respondents were willing to recommend Roper Hospice, compared with an average of 84 percent nationally and 85 percent in South Carolina. The system also ranked high in other categories, such as treating patients with respect, communication with family, and emotional and spiritual support.

For the full survey results, go here.

Hospice and Palliative Medical Director Dr. Joe Ritchie said the CMS survey serves as an objective evaluation of the program.

“It shows we are consistently getting good outcomes and above-average results,” Ritchie said. “Our people are just living the mission and providing quality care where people want it – at home with loved ones, as they go through these difficult times.”

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