What to Expect?

Hospice Hawaii’s Referral Process

A patient can self-refer or be referred to Hospice Hawaii by a family member or other loved one at any time. Please call us at 808-924-9255 to find out if hospice care would be appropriate for you or your loved one. Hospice Hawaii will contact the patient’s physician for a medical referral, and a member of the Hospice Hawaii team will contact the patient to schedule a meeting. Services can begin as early as the day of the initial meeting.

The Benefits of Early Hospice Referral

Hospice care is traditionally for patients with six months or less to live; however, some patients may stay on much longer because their quality of life improves or their condition is stabilized.

In a 2010 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, terminal lung cancer patients receiving early palliative care lived 2.7 months longer than those who delayed treatment. The authors hypothesized that:

“earlier integration of palliative care with terminal diagnosis results in better management of symptoms, leading to stabilization of their condition and prolonged survival.”

Patients who are referred to Hospice Hawaii early can receive the full benefit of hospice care. They rarely need to go to the hospital or to the emergency room, as most treatments and services can be provided at home by Hospice Hawaii’s interdisciplinary care team.

Have a Conversation about Your End-of-Life Care Wishes

  • It’s important to have a conversation about your wishes for end-of-life care before a medical crisis happens
  • Patients are more comfortable having these conversations with their own physician rather than hospital staff
  • Don’t be afraid to call Hospice Hawaii to assist with the conversation. We can help to:
    • Determine eligibility
    • Explain hospice services
    • Offer counseling and support to both the patient & family

Advance Health Care Directives

Everyone should have an advance health care directive. An advance health care directive is a personal statement about your future medical care that states your desires and wishes when you’re unable to speak for yourself. Generally speaking, family members won’t have to guess or argue over your wishes because you’ve placed your decisions in writing and shared those decisions with those who need to know.

If there’s no advance health care directive on file or readily accessible, it’s possible that your doctor may not honor your wishes for end-of-life care especially when there is a family dispute.

Download the Advance Health Care Directive form
Download the POLST form