Butterfly symbol designates Hospice Inpatient Care or Comfort Care

Submitted by Barbara Wadsworth, Chief Nursing Officer

Situation: Need for universal symbol to indicate that a patient is on In-patient Hospice or Comfort Care.HomeCare butterfly400

Background: The dying process can be a highly charged and emotional time for patients and families. A Palliative Care focus group was held with staff nurses from across the system. It was determined that there was a need to easily identify the patients who were on Comfort Care or In-patient Hospice care prior to entering room.

Assessment:  Often staff outside of the nursing units are not aware that a patient is actively dying or on Comfort Care/In-patient Hospice.  Need for increased sensitivity to patients/families during this process and a universal symbol would heighten staff awareness.

One campus already utilizing the symbol and has reported success.

Recommendation:  Begin utilizing a White Butterfly symbol on the door of Comfort Care and In-Patient Hospice patients.  Go LIVE: Monday, November 9. Leadership at each hospital was informed of this at Leadership Assembly at each campus during the past month.

  • This symbol will designate to all staff the type of care a patient is receiving and improve sensitivity to patient/ family needs during this difficult time.  This is consistent with our mission to provide a superior patient experience.
  • Patients who are on Comfort Care or In-patient Hospice will have the laminated butterfly picture placed outside the door of their room.
  • All staff, including RNs and unit secretaries, would be empowered to place the butterfly symbol outside the room when applicable.
  •  Hospice liaisons and palliative care team members will take the lead on ensuring this is done consistently.

MLH Hospice will provide the laminated signs to the hospitals to be placed on the outside of the patient door.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

This entry was posted in Clinician News and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.