Frontline Connections : VNS & Hospice of Suffolk
CellTrak’s Frontline Connections is a blog series that looks at our valued customers, their successes, their struggles in providing care, and highlights the heroes of frontline home and community-based services At CellTrak, we believe in empowering others to care 365 days a year. Read more about our virtues here.
About VNS Suffolk (an excerpt from their website)
“ With a tradition of professional, charitable, and compassionate care, our skilled home nursing and hospice services, inpatient Hospice House, home health aides, and community programs such as flu shot and blood pressure clinics and bereavement groups serve residents throughout Suffolk County. We provide post-acute care for patients in their homes, which may include assisted living facilities, and inpatient care in our Hospice House.
An independent, not-for-profit health care agency rooted in the community, we understand the needs of the community. Our nurses, therapists, aides, and administrative staff live in the community we serve. VNSHS is the first visiting nurse agency in Suffolk County and in 2004, opened the first freestanding inpatient hospice on Long Island. Today, VNSHS makes more than 80,000 home visits every year. We care for nearly 2,500 home health care patients and 700 hospice patients annually. "
Visiting Nurse Service and Hospice of Suffolk has been a valued customer of CellTrak for more than 8 years and has been using CellTrak through many software updates and changes to their EMRs. We are continually impressed by our customers and their commitment to providing care through difficult times, especially as caregivers went fully remote in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We had the chance to sit down with Mary Ann Blasko VNS of Suffolk and learn about their customer experience over the years.
When switching to CellTrak’s point of care solution, many agencies find that their staff initially struggle to grasp the drastic change between paper and pencil documentation and a mobile point-of-care solution. While it was initially challenging for VNSHS’ aides, the staff now agree that this is the best way to document.
Blasko remarks, “my aides are a bit older, they’re not very computer savvy One of my aides, who is 79 years old, says to me ‘I don’t know how to use my cell phone, but CellTrak is easy.”
We were delighted to hear how smooth their experience has been over the years working with us. Before using CellTrak, VNSHS was using pen and paper to log all visits. Blasko describes using CellTrak at VNSHS, saying “We’ve really had no issues using CellTrak. It’s been a great experience, it’s user-friendly, easy-to-navigate.” As a long-time customer, VNSHS has been with CellTrak through several software upgrades and changes throughout the years. Despite these changes, Blasko says “the transition was simple and easy. The training was great – 20 times better than any of our other software implementations.” Blasko noted the ease of use was aided by step-by-step training through creating and scheduling reports.
Mary Ann vouches for CellTrak’s back-end experience as a staff member –“The Navigation through the portal is super simple. My favorite feature is the map! I [also] like how I don’t have to call my aides to find out where they are or why they may be running late. I can easily see their ETA without calling them. “
VNSHS and COVID-19
Every agency was affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic in 2020, and VNS and Hospice of Suffolk is no different. Blasko retells their experience and lets us know what they are excited to get back to as many states lift restrictions and face a degree of normality.
“It was difficult. In the beginning, our aides could come to the office to drop off supplies, but they were not allowed to come into the office.” In addition to this, team meetings had to be held virtually, Clinicians were able to hold some of their visits virtually, though frontline aides continued to hold visits in the home.
While Blasko says she is not excited for the return of heavier traffic (we have to agree—our commutes have been much easier as well), VNS and Hospice of Suffolk is excited to be able to safely have luncheons with their caregivers once again.
We are so lucky to have customers like VNS Suffolk who are the reason we continue to innovate to help provide better outcomes in home and community-based care Want to learn more about VNS Suffolk? You can find their website here.