Ask Polly: The Power of U.R.G.E.N.T. (Part 1)
Acronyms work! They can help us remember an important process or message. For hospices, "U.R.G.E.N.T" sends a powerful message to your team that a sense of urgency on their part is the key to getting patients and families the help they need in a timely way. Polly Rehnwall, Senior Manager at Simione, explains the acronym for maximum effectiveness:
"I understand how you must feel" or "I understand what a difficult time this must be for you". When we tell callers or families that we UNDERSTAND their situation, it shows that we empathize with them; empathy is a key factor in gaining trust.
"I want to reassure you that you did the right thing by calling us today." Why is this so important? Research shows that when we visit families or when families call, they often feel guilty because they feel they have "given up". Even though we reassure them that there is always hope and that we will treat the patients aggressively for comfort care, families often struggle with having to take this step. It is important to tell them that hospice is the right thing to do for their loved one.
Research also shows that just picking up the phone to call us, or having our program rep out to answer their questions in person is a step that many families feel is "enough for today". However, we know that getting help today is what makes hospice so much better for their loved one. It's our job to remind them that they called or had us over because they need us; it's important they get our help TODAY.
In our next issue, we will explain the rest of the URGENT acronym.