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Inclusion and Access

Promoting inclusiveness in our community by ensuring that all people — regardless of race, ethnicity, color, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, age, disease or other characteristics — have access to our programs and services.



The ultimate goal of Inclusion and Access is to promote the provision of quality hospice and palliative care to terminally ill patients, families and communities—care that respects their culture, beliefs and traditions—based on the belief that equitable access to care is inherent in quality.

Some ways this goal may be met include:

  • Exploration and implementation of models that address the continuing barriers to quality end-of-life care for all groups of people.
  • Increased understanding of cultural distinctions and development of unique and effective diversity initiatives.
  • Increased quality of culturally appropriate and sensitive care through consideration, exploration and appropriate responses to existing biases and assumptions about the diverse populations being served.


NHPCO has produced a self-assessment checklist for hospices to review their organization’s leadership, mission and vision, resources, and services in respect to inclusion and access.

  • Providers can view the Self-Assessment Tool for Inclusion and Access (PDF). 
  • For current members who are registered Quality Partners: Assess Your Organization - This link will take you to the DART system, NHPCO’s online data collection system. Some additional things to know before logging in to DART:
    • You will need your organization’s Provider ID and password – which NHPCO assigned to your organization. This Provider ID and password are NOT the same as your individual member ID/password. The Provider ID and password are linked to your hospice and are used only to enter the DART system.
    • Member Services can assist with Provider ID and password questions, contact them at 800/646-6460.
    • Please disable any pop-up-blockers on your computer’s Internet browser.
    • Remember to always log off the system when you are finished working.

Pathways to Success

The following steps operate in conjunction with the self-assessment checklist for inclusion and access:

  1. Briefly describe innovations, initiatives, or programs in your hospice that reflect your hospice’s commitment to ensuring inclusion and access for all groups represented in the community served by the hospice.
  2. List the benefits/outcomes evolving from these innovations, initiatives, and programs.
  3. Briefly describe challenges or difficulties that your hospice has experienced in these areas.
  4. Reflect on the findings of this assessment and their relevance and importance to your organization’s strategic priorities and quality and safety agendas.

NHPCO Standards of Practice for Hospice Programs

Members can view the chapter on Inclusion and Access

Resources and Tools

Members can view the following in Resources and Tools for Inclusion and Access.

Essential Materials Find key resources that reflect upon community outreach, cultural sensitivity, bereavement support, and community-wide needs assessment.

NHPCO Resources NewsLine – Read Larry Beresford’s article on Inclusion and Access in his monthly series focusing on Quality Partners.

Web Links Find information on other institutions, organizations, resources that focus on inclusion and access.

Quality Partners@ InfoCenter Quality Partners @ InfoCenter offers members access to an online database with over 400 records of resources related to the ten components. Members can either search through the database or click on provided links that will conveniently display a listing of resources under the following headings: Essential Materials, Background Materials, Performance Measures, NHPCO Resources, and Resources Categorized by NHPCO Standards.

Background Materials

The following resources focus on the quality initiative and/or inclusion and access. Visit Quality Partners @ InfoCenter to find these and other resources.

  1. Betancourt, Joseph R. Cultural Competence in Health Care: Emerging Frameworks and Practical Approaches, The Commonwealth Fund. October, 2002. The report is available at www.cmwf.org.  
  2. Fleming, M. and Towey, K. Delivering Culturally Effective Health Care to Adolescents, American Medical Association. US Department of Health and Human Services. September, 2001.

Help Desk

If after reviewing the online resources you need additional assistance, contact quality@nhpco.org or the Quality Team at 703/837-1500.

Marketplace Availability

The following technical materials support the many aspects of Inclusion and Access: