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Administrative (Non-Clinical) Policy
This administrative policy applies to the operations and staff of the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and
Clinics Authority (UWHCA) as integrated effective July 1, 2015, including the legacy operations and
staff of University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics (UWHC) and University of Wisconsin Medical
Policy Title: Ambulatory Clinic-Initiated Bereavement/Condolence Cards
Policy Number: 1.58
Effective Date: June 1, 2016
To provide guidelines to UW Health staff for sending condolence/sympathy cards to the families of
A. In the event of a patient death, a condolence card may be sent but must follow the outlined
B. Employees will be offered support through their own grieving process as needed when a patient
passes, via Human Resources or by contacting the employees Employee Assistance Program.
C. This policy does not replace the multi-step bereavement process in place at American Family
Children’s Hospital and/or used by In-Patient Units or Specialty Pediatric Clinics.
A. Patient Business Services staff reviews the obituaries of the Wisconsin State Journal each day and
updates the EMR accordingly.
B. A notification of deaths report is reviewed by Patient Business Services detailing UW Health and
UnityPoint - Meriter Hospitals deaths and updates the EMR accordingly.
1. A letter is routinely sent from Patient Business Services that includes financial options.
C. As an employee becomes aware of a patient death, an electronic form will be submitted per UW
Health Administrative Policy 6.46-Notification to Health Link and Patient Business Services
Department Regarding Deceased Patients.
1. Once validated, Patient Business Services updates the Patient Status Health Link, as well
as sends an InBasket message to the Primary Care Provider (PCP).
D. At the request of the deceased patient’s PCP or of the treatment plan team, the Clinic Manager
must approve sending a condolence card from the Clinic.
1. Manager may designate a staff member to access deceased patient’s medical record to
obtain address, and Clinic Manager must document that permission, or that they sent the
card themselves, outside of Health Link for future reference if needed in the event of an
audit or question.
E. All condolence cards will be obtained via Badger Graphics under “General Materials”. These
blank condolence cards are provided by UWH Marketing & Public Affairs.
F. Condolence cards will be mailed within 30 days of patient’s death.
G. Card will be mailed to the funeral home if possible, otherwise to patient’s home.
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H. Faculty Physicians and APPs may send personal cards per their discretion.
Sr. Management Sponsor: CNO
Author: Director, UW Health Ambulatory Operations
Reviewer: UW Health Privacy Officer
Approval committee(s): UWISCO (Integrated Ambulatory Operations Directors/Service Line
Directors); UW Health Administrative Policy and Procedure Committee
President, University of Wisconsin Hospitals
Chief of Clinical Operations
Next revision: 062019