General Inpatient Care (GIP)
General Inpatient Care (GIP) is appropriate and often recommended when the patient experiences:
- Sudden deterioration requiring intensive nursing intervention
Uncontrolled nausea and vomiting
Respiratory distress that becomes unmanageable
Need for symptom relief via intravenous medications that require close monitoring
Wound care requiring complex and/or frequent dressing changes that cannot be managed in the patient’s residence
Severe, unmanageable, agitated delirium, acute anxiety or depression secondary to the end-stage disease process, requiring intensive intervention.
Minor procedures to aid in the comfort of the patient, such as removing fluid from the belly area (paracentesis) or inserting a permanent drain or tube
Symphony Hospice is contracted with various skilled nursing facilities (SNF). Such facilities are designed and decorated with hospice patients and their families in mind. They function as a home away from home for a hospice patient. The focus is on comfort and dignity even when intensive care is necessary.
Whatever the surroundings, 24-hour inpatient care is one of the mandatory levels of hospice care, available when medically necessary. Some patients may need the inpatient level of care to help them transition from hospitalized curative care to home hospice. Others receiving routine home care may have symptoms that become exacerbated.
In either case, the patient usually receives inpatient care for a short period of time (3–5 days) until symptoms are under control, then returns home and the routine home level of hospice care resumes.
Hospice care is almost always brought to where the patient calls home, simply because home is where most people want to be. Undoubtedly, most people want to be in familiar surroundings with familiar routines and familiar faces.
However, all hospices must offer inpatient care for 24-hour pain control or acute and complex symptom management that cannot be provided at home or in other settings. Inpatient care is provided in facilities like nursing homes and free standing hospice houses which can provide around-the-clock clinical care.
The atmosphere in an inpatient hospice setting is markedly different from that of an acute-care facility. The inpatient hospice unit is calmer and more homelike. Staff members move at an unhurried pace, often taking the time to talk to the patient, visit with the family, and answer questions. Day and night, family members and friends of all ages are welcome, and arrangements may be made for overnight stays. But make no mistake! Aggressive pain and symptom management is at work here with the goal of stabilizing the patient so that they may return home to routine hospice care.