Everyone is working the “middle” to get there next referral!! The hospital social worker, the oncologist, the SNF, etc. Here is a segment that both I and others have worked that is still under developed. The Parrish Nurse!!
I can hear you asking…..what the heck is a Parrish Nurse? Parrish Nursing actually started in USA around 1982 in Chicago.
Here is a website with wonderful and thorough information concerning parish/ faith-based nursing:
As you review a Parrish Nurse job description you will soon see why a Parrish Nurse can be a valuable referral source. They do health navigation, health screening and health education and health counseling. These nurses are in a position to give advice and information on end of life care. A hospice company can become an excellent resource for a Parrish Nurse as they can make a referral to a hospice companies as parishioners approach them for help.
Here is a case study on how one hospice turned a Parrish Nurse Network into a value referral sources. Let’s start with the results. The chart below shows a years’ worth of referrals from the time the hospice started working with this Parrish Nurse Network.
Here is the story. A local hospital actually started a Parrish Nurse Network by hiring a nurse to work with local parishes who have a nurse working for them. In most cases these Parrish Nurses worked part time or job-shared a position. The nurse from the hospital works with individual parishes and signs a Health Covenant (contract) to provide these parishes/nurses with support, training, education and access to resources to better serve their parish. Once a month the nurse from the hospital held a half day “staff” meeting with all the Parrish Nurses.
In the first year (the data above), the nurse signed up 10 parishes to work with. Currently, there are 64 parishes signed up totaling 102 Parrish Nurses.
The hospice started their relationship by working with the hospital nurse in charge of the Parrish Nurse Network. They were invited to a Parrish Nurse staff meeting to present on hospice and services offered. This lead to some immediate referrals. As the hospice continued to work with the Parrish Nurse Network, they started to build relationships with the individual Parrish Nurses and provided educational services to these parishes. As the relationship with these Parrish Nurses grew, so did the referrals.
Here are some suggestion to consider for your hospice to develop parish nursing as a new referral source for you.
- Call the hospitals in your area and see if they have any programming built around parish nursing or health. For example, Catholic Health System in Phoenix has a formal program in place to work with individual parishes.
- Call all the churches in your area (all faiths) and ask in they have a parish nurse and/or health council in place at their parish. If they do, ask for contact information and start your marketing assessment as to how your hospice can bring value to the parish.
- Treat these Parish Nurses and parishes as an account and build in account development strategies to nurture the relationship. You will be surprise as the other business opportunities that will arise.
- If you have a hospital that sponsors a Parish Nurse Network/Program, use this as a way to develop stronger/ deeper relationships with the hospital.
I believe you will be happy with the results. I would be interested to hear from others if they have found Parish Nurses a good referral source?
If you would like any further information on what some of the specific programming hospices have offered to Parish Nurses, drop me a line!