Reflections on Hospice and Palliative Care Month

Enclara Pharmacia is proud to join the hospice community in observing Hospice and Palliative Care Month, a time to honor the dedicated professionals who give so much of themselves to bring comfort and dignity to patients and their families. It’s also an opportunity to advance awareness and understanding of hospice among the general population.

Treating the Whole Person

“It’s a special calling to care for people who are facing the end of life, especially in a home setting where family dynamics and socioeconomic status play a larger role,” Enclara SVP, Business Development Deanna Douglass, PharmD said. “Enclara is grateful for the clinicians, home health aides, social workers, volunteers and others who do this work.”

One of the many special things about hospice and palliative care is that it treats the whole person rather than a specific disease. Support for family caregivers is also an important part of the mission. This model is increasingly seen as an essential component of all healthcare. It also has the potential to influence other industries.

“The thing that inspires me about hospice is the holistic approach they take,” Enclara VP of Digital Product Development Laura Brinkoetter said. “Healthcare can feel very transactional at times, but hospices really humanize the experience. My team and I really take that to heart as we develop the next generation of digital tools for our hospice clients.”

Increasing Access

Over the four decades since Medicare first introduced the hospice benefit, hospice has grown from a grass roots movement to an industry serving over 1.5 million Americans each year. Despite that progress, far too many patients either don’t elect hospice or elect it very late in their disease progression. Today, hospices are ramping up outreach to underserved communities to address disparities in hospice utilization while also building stronger relationships with doctors and health plans.

“In many cases, there is a lack of knowledge about hospice in general as well as a lot of misconceptions about the service itself,” Enclara VP, Clinical Services Raymond Capella, PharmD, said. “As professionals within the hospice community, it’s our responsibility to help patients, families and even providers understand that what we’re really providing is quality of life.”

Enclara’s Role

Enclara Pharmacia is proud to support hospice and palliative care professionals, in November and throughout the year. For over 20 years, our pharmacists have advanced palliative care pharmacology through direct consultation, educational materials and presentations around the country. At the same time, we have also harnessed technology to improve medication access and help hospices gain valuable insights into their utilization.

“Although we don’t work directly with patients, they are always our first priority,” Enclara VP, Client Services Patrick Leary said. “Our goal is to make pharmacy easy so that hospice clinicians can devote more time to patients. At the same time, we’re here to help hospices improve care, manage costs and fully realize their potential to serve individuals, families and the community.”

In addition to providing hospice and palliative support for nearly 100,000 patients per day, Enclara Pharmacia regularly supports numerous national and state organizations, including:

Our involvement with these organizations serves as a vital avenue to connect and engage with the community across the country. Enclara also offers Palliative Pearls with clinical case studies for palliative care clinicians, and Executive Perspectives, a free monthly e-newsletter with highlights of industry news to keep subscribers informed and engaged.