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What is Most Important? Just Listen.

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What is most important to you today?” This simple focus allows Heartland Hospice to serve patients sooner and to provide a “wow” experience to patients and families. Nikki, Regional Manager of Business Development, tells how the Heartland Hospice serving Raleigh-Durham team was able to fulfill a patient’s most important wish.

“Recently I was reminded of how we have so much opportunity to 'wow' our patients and families even before care starts. Amanda and I had learned about a young lady with lung cancer who was eligible for hospice care . She was in the ICU and wanted nothing more than to go home to celebrate her daughter’s thirteenth birthday. You see, we learned that it was her daughter’s birthday by listening to her story and asking her what was most important to her. Although she was surrounded by family and medical staff, no one stopped to ask, ‘What is most important to you today?’ All she wanted was to go home."

“We worked with the medical team and assured them that we could get her home today. The patient’s eyes lit up when we told her she would be home to celebrate her daughter’s birthday which was that same day. She had tears streaming down her face with the most beautiful smile as she whispered, ‘Thank you.’"

“Initially, the doctors had no intention of allowing her to go home that day, so we knew there would not be birthday gifts, balloons or a cake to celebrate with her daughter. Amanda and I wanted to do something to make this birthday special. We collaborated with the hospital staff and headed to the hospital gift shop to purchase balloons, flowers and a few small inexpensive gifts. We took them to her and said, ‘This is just a little something to give to your daughter from you.’ I will never forget her face. She cried and kept saying, ‘I can’t believe this.’"

“Our patient passed away two weeks later, but she received her last wish all because our hospice team started advocating for her before care started. We have the opportunity to help patients and families get care sooner and if we listen to their stories, we will find out what is truly important. This patient left four children behind and I am so proud to share that our hospice team will be providing Christmas for these children this year. This is the Heartland Experience!”