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A team-based approach is critical to patients in their end-of-life care, and the IDG meeting is a care planning meeting unique to hospice. Unfortunately, the functioning of IDG teams and the documenting of bi-weekly IDG team meetings have come under scrutiny by regulatory bodies in recent months. As regulatory bodies look closely at the care being provided by hospice, they are recognizing the need for proper documentation and coordination among all the members of the care team.

IDG meetings are at the heart of hospice care. Not only are these meetings crucial to patient care, they are required by CMS and heavily regulated. Furthermore, they involve a hospices highest paid and often most over-worked employees.

Preparing for, conducting, and updating notes from the IDG meeting can take hospice staff hours or even days. We’ve put together some tips to help your IDG meeting run smoothly, so your staff can effectively care for patients. 

How to Get the Most out of Your IDG Meeting

1. Start with an Agenda

The best meetings start with an agenda. Agenda’s let the team know what to expect, when to participate, and allow the team to move through the meeting with purpose.  Similarly, having a list of patients on your IDG meeting agenda helps staff prepare their patient notes ahead of time and be prepared to discuss each patient.

Agendas also help ensure that every issue gets addressed and all patient notes get documented correctly. Having an agenda in place helps your team make the most of your meeting time and ensure all documentation is completed properly.

2. Organize Patient Data

Inefficient IDG meetings are filled with wasted time on find patient charts, visit notes, or other information that is not readily available. Whether you’re still charting on paper or working with an inefficient software, having patient data on hand is key to a productive and time efficient IDG meeting.

Having the most up-to-date information is also key to the team’s success. When everyone is looking at different information, it increases the amount of time the team spends on paperwork and decreases the focus on patient care. It’s important for everyone to have the same, real-time information in front of them when they are discussing a patient.

Up-to-date information is also important should a team member be absent or running late. When the team has all the patient information at their fingertips, IDG meetings don’t need to be delayed due to a team members absence.

3. Update Meeting Notes

Updating IDG meeting notes while you are reviewing the patient increases your likelihood to capture everything the team discusses and to remain compliant. When possible, clinicians should be able to update IDG meeting notes in the meeting, as they review the patient. Not only does this ensure documentation gets done, but also gives each member of the team their next steps in caring for the patient without having to go back later and chart from memory.

Hospice Software For Better IDG Meetings

Software is key in today’s world for managing your hospice from end to end. In the IDG meeting alone, effective software can save clinicians hours in the meeting in addition to hours of prep work.

In Hummingbird, IDG Ready allows for each patient's documentation can be reviewed and updated in about 2 minutes. With the IDG Ready tool, Hummingbird prepopulates and agenda and patient list, allows clinicians to click directly into the patient’s charts, provides up-to-the-minute information, and updates notes in real-time. Plus our physician certification tool makes physician certifications simple.

Learn more about Hummingbird and see how you can streamline your IDG meetings.


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