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Leading the Way in Patient Experience

VNA Home Health Hospice telemonitoring specialist, Marissa Amico, is gifted at putting overwhelmed, worried people at ease. It’s not just her quick wit that makes her so beloved, it’s the genuine care and compassion she demonstrates to her patients and others. Upon arriving at a patient’s home in late November, Marissa learned this person had just received news of an unexpected death in her family. The patient was flying out in two days to be with her family, but tearfully admitted she wasn’t sure she had the financial resources to get back to Maine. Marissa returned to her office and asked, “What can we do?” Within an hour, she had gathered a Thanksgiving basket of food and a generous Visa gift card to assist the patient with airfare. She returned to the woman’s home later that day to deliver the gift. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
Inspiring stories of compassion exemplified by VNA Home Health Hospice employees make it easy to understand why we are celebrating their remarkable achievements in patient experience scores over the past year. Client experience data from fiscal year 2015 compared to fiscal year 2016 show VNA Home Health Hospice increased patient experience scores in all regions; a significant accomplishment given it was a period of immense change as two large and geographically diverse home health agencies, Eastern Maine Homecare and VNA Home Health Hospice, merged in September of 2014.
Rosemary Unnold, RN, MSN, COS-C, VNA Home Health Hospice director of performance improvement, stresses that the key to success is communication. “We have become more comfortable with technology like Lync and video conferencing, which makes it even easier for us to connect as an organization—sharing concerns and best practices is a big priority. To deliver the best care to our patients, we need everyone’s input—it’s valued and important.”
VNA Home Health Hospice’s success moves EMHS closer to its goal of delivering a consistent, outstanding experience for our patients and families across all service lines and care continuums. Leah Wright, RN, BSN, and VNA Home Health Hospice vice president of Performance Improvement and System Integration, began her career with the organization as a field clinician nearly 15 years ago and knows well how important a great patient experience is to patient care. “Our goal is to keep patients out of the hospital and care for them in their home, where they want to be. We strive to exceed patient expectations and be known to our referral sources as a high reliability organization that takes quality care very seriously.”
In addition to homehealth and hospice services, the organization is dedicated to the health and well-being of the local community. They provide numerous health and wellness programs for seniors, flu clinics, corporate clinics, emergency response services, and other volunteer services. Other VNA Home Health Hospice programs include Life Stages, an in-home and personal care service to help people age in place; Faith Community Nursing, a program to enlist faith community volunteers to aide fellow parishioners; and Pathfinders, a program to support grieving children.
To learn more about EMHS’ patient experience and engagement initiatives throughout the system, visit their portal where you will also find educational tools and resources.