NHO issued the following general guidelines for staffing ratios:
- Nursing. Caseload of 8-12 patients per FTE (full-time employee); range of 15-25 visits per week
- Social Work: Caseload of 20-30 patients per FTE; range of 15-25 visits per week
- Chaplain: Caseload of 40-60 patients per FTE; range of 15-25 visits per week
- Home Health Aides: Caseload of 7-10 patients per FTE; visit length ranging from 1.5 to 2.25 hours
The 2009 NHPCO Facts and Figures: Hospice Care in America report: "In 2008, the average patient caseload for a home health aide was 9.5 patients, 13.3 patients a nurse case manager, and 24.2 patients for a social worker."
Are you aware of any other current caseload recommendations? Please let me know!
Since my brief reprieve before Christmas, my caseload has gone back up to around 37 and I know there are a couple more new patients coming down the pipeline. I also have the largest territory of all the social workers (and generally the highest caseload). There was a period a year or two ago that all the social workers were carrying caseloads over 40- the rest of the hospice team's caseloads were similarly impacted. It was too much but the administration said we'd have to keep the caseloads that high for at least a few more months before they would even think about hiring another social worker, much less other staff. Of course, we didn't sustain those high numbers for the required amount of time; we just had to make do. I hated doing that to the rest of my caseload but new and high acuity patients always come first and my sanity last. The ebb and flow of caseloads is an ongoing issue. How do we provide quality care without sacrificing ourselves in the process?