Solving challenges in hospice IPU with technology

August 27, 2020
Categories: Hospice
Reading Time: 3 minutes

When it comes to operating a hospice IPU the goal is simple: provide the highest quality patient care. To some, that is easier said than done. After all, these inpatient units (IPU) require patients to transition to one or more care setting. With these patients needing intensive care, managing their health records from one setting to the next is critical. However, many providers face challenges that complicate their ability to do this easily. That’s why more and more providers are turning to technology and leveraging interoperability to solve some of these gaps. Want to learn how? Read below.

Challenges in hospice IPU

1.     Communication

One of the biggest challenges providers face when operating a hospice IPU is clear communication. Clinicians need to know their patient’s previous health history to provide a proper recommendation. Without an electronic health record (EHR), staff could spend a good portion of their time chasing down and reentering information. Thankfully, technology has been able to help ease this burden. Some solutions, like MatrixCare, can sync in real-time so clinicians can get a global view of their patients instantly. Amy Rose, director of clinical services at Sangre de Cristo Community Care raved about MatrixCare saying, “The next shift can see all the different medications that were given so it helps with the schedule, with the flow of things and makes it easy for the nurses.”


2.     Documentation

Another common problem revolves around documentation consistency. Although documentation standardization is imposed for compliance, consistency can still be challenging. These inconsistencies can vary across the spectrum. Some might be related to documenting from one discipline to the next. While other errors can be related to quality assurance or billing. Regardless, these deviations can impact your organization’s reimbursement – or worse, your patient care. By leveraging technology, you can standardize your organization’s documentation practices and factor in the latest regulatory requirements to ensure compliance. Additionally, some solutions allow you to enter multiple encounters per shift. Not only does this make it clear to see how your patients are progressing but it also makes it easy to identify when direct patient care is actually occurring; which aids in how you’re billed and reimbursed.


3.     Medication administration

The third challenge commonly encountered by hospice IPU providers is medication administration. Without technology, medication administration is rather difficult. It requires extreme organization and documentation practices to ensure all the patients at the unit get the proper medications at the right time. Even with precautions in place, doing this manually can make you and your patients susceptible to errors. Most providers rather not risk it and have turned to technology that can help with this hurdle. Solutions, like MatrixCare, have built-in reports, that allow clinicians to see what meds were given to what patients. Additionally, they can see of those medications given, how many were on time, what the patient’s response was, etc. This allows clinicians to really drill down to a patient history so they can figure out quickly what is working and what isn’t.

MatrixCare Hospice Solution

Our cloud-based software solutions and services promise more personalized care, better outcomes, and the kind of efficiency you need to make these challenges disappear. With one of the industry’s largest datasets, we enable providers, like you, to drive better care and lower costs. Our connected network offers a holistic view of people as they move between care settings, so you can see each person and each point of care. And, in today’s value-based environment that matters.

Amy Rose, director of clinical services at Sangre de Cristo Community Care relies on MatrixCare for her organization because of its intuitive nature. She says her “clinicians are able to make notes at the bedside of the patient which helps to ensure they stay in compliance with the regulations of that higher level of care.”  Some other benefits of MatrixCare technology is that it helps organizations:

  • Optimize efficiency
  • Manage financial, clinical, and patient information within one platform
  • Leverage interoperability by connecting to other systems
  • Operate safely and securely

Want to learn more? Let’s connect!


  1. Lysaght Hurley, S., Strumpf, N., Barg, F., & Ersek, M. (2014, April). Not quite seamless: Transitions between home and inpatient hospice.
  2. Bergen-Jackson, K., Sanders, S., Herr, K., Fine, P., Titler, M., Forcucci, C., McNichol, P. (2009, November 1). Determining Community Provider Practices in Hospices: The Challenges of Documentation.

The content in this presentation or materials is for informational purposes only and is provided “as-is.” Information and views expressed herein may change without notice. We encourage you to seek as appropriate, regulatory, and legal advice on any of the matters covered in this presentation or materials.


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