Skip to page content

Cool Things

Community Perspective: Patient-Centered Care at the End of Life

Agrace’s Jen Flugaur shares her journey from family caregiver to the bedside and beyond

It’s Jen Flugaur’s mission to help patients and families far beyond the walls of Agrace HospiceCare’s facilities throughout Wisconsin. As a former family caregiver, a nurse by training, and now Agrace’s assistant vice president of quality and compliance, Jen understands firsthand the many benefits of hospice care.

“The care we provide is meant to be in the community, wherever the patient considers their home,” Jen said. “The sooner patients get an organization like Agrace involved, the better their outcomes are because we can help manage their symptoms–often long before the end of life–in a way that’s meaningful to them and their personal goals.”

Using Epic, nurses at Agrace document key details about a patient’s wishes, including diet needs, requests for spiritual support, and whether the patient would enjoy visits from pets or volunteers.

In addition to providing inpatient care, Agrace clinicians visit patients in their homes and at other facilities to provide expert support in end-of-life care. Agrace also cares for Alzheimer’s patients at its specialized Hospice Memory Care Suites, operates a community grief support center, and more.

Jen’s work at Agrace has allowed her to serve patients and their families in many different ways. When her grandfather passed away, she saw the difference that a hospice nurse can make in the grieving process.

“After my grandfather’s death, a hospice nurse visited our family. It was incredible how vulnerable she allowed our family to be,” Jen said. “When I started at Agrace, I was able to fill that role during the admissions process by helping patients and families make an informed decision about hospice care.”

From there, Jen worked at the bedside, managed other nurses, and provided after-hours visits to patients in crisis before becoming a leader for Agrace’s overall quality initiatives.

“I love interacting with staff out in the community, helping them think creatively about meeting a patient’s goal or improving a patient’s experience,” she said. “I also do a lot of reporting using Epic to make sure we’re meeting key quality metrics and using patient feedback to make sure that we’re providing the best possible end-of-life care in partnership with patients and their families.”

Read more about Agrace’s mission for end-of-life care on their website. Epic community members can learn more about tools in Epic for end-of-life care and documenting patient goals on the UserWeb.

“Community Perspective” is a series of stories from leaders in the Epic community about how their work in healthcare technology relates to their personal missions to serve their patients and transform healthcare delivery.