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w w w . v n h c a r e . o r g 8 8 8 . 3 0 0 . 8 8 5 3 1w w w . v n h c a r e . o r g 8 8 8 . 3 0 0 . 8 8 5 3 1 VNHV I S I T I N G N U R S E a n d H O S P I C E for VERMONT and NEW HAMPSHIRE N E W S f r o m V I S I T I N G N U R S E H O S P I C E f o r V E R M O N T N E W H A M P S H I R E connect C O M E H O M E T O E X C E L L E N T C A R E w w w . v n h c a r e . o r g 8 8 8 . 3 0 0 . 8 8 5 3 spring 2015 Since the 1970s VNH has been providing hospice care to patients and support for their families. Our mission is to deliver outstand- ing hospice services that enrich the lives of the people we serve regardless of the complexity of condition or ability to pay. As a non-profit agency our motives are not driven by stockholders or dividends. Our only goal is helping people its what our clinicians and caregivers do every day. So when our patients need us we are there to answer the call. continued on page 4 COMPASSIONATE CARE FOR ALL WHATS INSIDE Page 3 VNH Goes Paperless Page 4 A Patients Story of Courage and Hope Page 6 VNH Volunteers Donate Time Compassion and More Page 7 Company Cars Drive Down Costs Early 20th century visiting nurses 2 C O M E H O M E T O E X C E L L E N T C A R E Of all the seasons spring is perhaps the most transformational. Marked by phenomenal growth renewed hope and eternal optimism spring provides a welcome respite for us all. In much the same way that spring has a way of lifting our spirits the compassionate and expert hospice care that VNH caregivers provide to patients and their families helps make a difficult time a bit more bearable. Our highly skilled nurses have the latest training and certifications but hospice care is much more than just medicine. Its about compassion. Tenderness. Listening. And providing a shoulder to cry on every now and then. For the last 108 years VNH has been providing hospice care services to families in Vermont and New Hampshire regardless of their financial situation. And weve done this strictly as a non-profit. The fact that VNH has been around for over a century says a lot about the importance of what we do and speaks volumes about how connected we are to the communities we serve. So as the spring owers begin to bloom and even long after theyve retreated in the fall well be here delivering excellence in hospice nursing rehabilitation and personal care services. Why Because its what we do every day. Billions of dollars are spent each year on wound care. By ensuring staff has the competencies and skills VNH can actively participate in improving the quality of our community members lives. VNHV I S I T I N G N U R S E a n d H O S P I C E for VERMONT and NEW HAMPSHIRE connectVNHV I S I T I N G N U R S E a n d H O S P I C E for VERMONT and NEW HAMPSHIRE connect CONGRATULATIONS TO VNH REGISTERED NURSES BEVERLY THORPE LOUISE CHEENEY SUSAN WINOT AND BRANDI SINGELAIS WHO RECENTLY BECAME WOUND CARE CERTIFIED WCC VNH Nurses Complete Wound Care Certication Wound care certification establishes a home health care nurse as a resource for patients wound and skin care management which includes prevention therapeutic interventions and rehabilitative interventions. The certifications are part of a larger initiative to provide VNH staff with ongoing skill and competency development. The certification of these RNs will result in each of our eight geographic teams having a certified Wound Care Nurse a certified Hospice Palliative Care Nurse and a certified Infusion Nurse says VNH President and CEO Jeanne McLaughlin. Im very proud of our nurses says Sheila Aubin Vice President of Clinical Services. They join a very specialized team of WCC experts at VNH who provide the highest standard of care to our patients. n A MESSAGE FROM JEANNE Best wishes for a terrific spring Jeanne A. McLaughlin President and Chief Executive Officer w w w . v n h c a r e . o r g 8 8 8 . 3 0 0 . 8 8 5 3 3 VNHs transition to a paperless environment has reduced costs streamlined processes and accelerated delivery of needed services and information. Requests for services which include referrals orders lab results discharge summaries and more used to arrive as faxed documents to VNHs Referral Services department from doctors offices rehabilitation facilities and hospitals. Sometimes faxed orders would get copied multiple times explains Shaun McMahon Supervisor of the VNH Referral Intake Department. Our orders are usually many sheets often as many as 20. The number of pages and time spent processing it really added up. Now these same orders are received as electronic messages via VNHs secure HIPAAcompliant email system. The information is entered into McKesson a health care information technology system and then seamlessly disseminated to other VNH departments. Also the information is much more accessible for questions or updates. This new paperless process has created a more efficient and productive practice and paves the way for exceptional communication. McMahon says. VNHs Payment Processing team has also benefited from going to a paperless environment. Before orders for new patient services can be paid by Medicare they need to be signed by the doctors who ordered them. That meant someone would have to print the order fax it to the doctor and then it would be faxed back says Mike Counter VNHs Senior Director of Finance. Using a new program called Fortura the orders are emailed from McKesson to a digital portal. We pull up a file electronically fax it to the doctor then the doctor signs it and emails it back to the portal Counter says. We move it to a closed file and it is done. On our end not one piece of paper is printed. The new process has been a huge success adds McMahon. It has made our team operate more smoothly as a whole. n estimated annual cost savings 12000 sheets of paper each yearsheets of paper each year 212000 14 trees estimated saved each year Source Sierra Magazine JulyAugust 2014 issue. How much is saved Productive. Precise. Paperless. 4 C O M E H O M E T O E X C E L L E N T C A R E VNHV I S I T I N G N U R S E a n d H O S P I C E for VERMONT and NEW HAMPSHIRE connect continued from page 1 Late last year VNH received a grant from the Jack and Dorothy Byrne Foundation which has afforded eight VNH nurses the opportunity to receive hospice certification. The certification provides nurses with specialized skills and training specific to the needs of hospice patients and their families. It was wonderful to have this opportunity says VNH RN Sharon Lykins-Brown who attended the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization NHPCO hospice certification conference in February 2015. There were nurses social workers and doctors from 20 countries and 48 states participating. Lykins-Brown says she will continue to study and take the national exam in June to obtain her hospice certification. n VNH Hospice is a wonderful gift. Tammy Sauve VNH Hospice Patient Meet a patient who helps others by sharing her courage and hope Tammy Sauve READ MORE OF TAMMYS STORY AT WWW.VNHCARE.ORG. I have gained so much from attending I feel like Ive been given a big gift box and I plan to use everything in it. -Sharon Lykins-Brown VNH RN I was very angry and very afraid says Tammy Sauve 53. I was in a situation where I could die in five minutes an hour a week a month. And I had to live with it. In 2012 Sauve became a patient of VNH Hospice after treatment for breast cancer left her with cardio myopathy or heart disease. I was able to talk about my fear of what those last moments would be like and let it go. That was really weighing on me. RENEWED HOPE Sauve says she is taking it one day at a time and she credits her VNH caregivers with helping her feel stronger than she has. VNH Hospice is a wonderful gift. The most precious thing is time minutes really and they are helping people have more of it she says. As shes felt better Sauve has felt the need to help others who might benefit from her experience. I thought if someone else is scared or needs to talk to someone who is still facing death they could call me. n Hospice Care A Closer Look Percentage of VNH Hospice patients that are readmitted to the hospital 2-3 The number of Americans who say they would prefer to die at home according to a recent CNN poll 7 out of 10 Home 85 15 Healthcare Facility or Other Location Where is hospice care provided w w w . v n h c a r e . o r g 8 8 8 . 3 0 0 . 8 8 5 3 5 Patients and families often want to express their appreciation for the care provided to them by VNH how a member of the VNH team played a significant role in their care during the moments that matter the most. While we are honored and inspired by these stories sometimes people just want to do something more to convey their heartfelt thanks. Through VNHs Gifts of Gratitude program patients and their loved ones can say thank you in a very meaningful and impactful way. These gifts have been used to purchase new equipment improve VNH programs and help VNH continue to provide more than 1.5 million in charity care each year. From high-tech advanced medical equipment to low-tech patient comfort education and rehabilitation services Gifts of Gratitude are saving and enhancing lives in our communities. n Enclosed is our contribu- tion to hospice in memory of my father. VNH Hospice employees were fantastic and greatly enhanced the quality of life for my father in his last days. - Grateful Family FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE GIFTS OF GRATITUDE PROGRAM AND HOW YOU CAN HELP VNH CALL 888-300-8853 OR VISIT WWW.VNHCARE.ORG At VNH its our mission to make a difference in the lives of our patients every day by offering world-class care that helps families with some of the most difficult decisions they will ever be called upon to make. SHARING GIFTS OF GRATITUDE For many years hospice has meant a place to die but the true philosophy of hospice and palliation is to provide holistic specialized care for the dying which can include medical care pain management symptom control and grief support. People may think of hospice as the path to death says VNH RN Sharon Lykins-Brown but we really focus on helping patients reach their goals beyond the desire to die at home. One patients goal may be to get to his daughters graduation in the spring for another its to take the planned family trip. The meaning of Hospice VNHs interdisciplinary team of hospice caregivers provide a full spectrum of services to patients and their familiesincluding NURSING CARE PHYSICIAN CARE PHYSICAL OCCUPATIONAL AND SPEECH THERAPY 24-HOUR ACCESS TO CARE MEDICATION MANAGEMENT COUNSELING FOR PATIENT AND FAMILY RESPITE CARE HOME HEALTH AIDE SERVICES SPIRITUAL CARE BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT 6 C O M E H O M E T O E X C E L L E N T C A R E Name Jean Carr Title VNH Volunteer Experience withVNH I worked as a visiting nurse for many years. Now as a volunteer I spend time with hospice patients. The VNH volunteer program is exceptional. Why hospice I have been learning about hospice since 1980. I wanted to learn all I could about it because as a nurse I was fascinated by the concept. My husband and I received hospice care many years ago and I realized how important it is to patients and their families. Best part about volunteering In addition to helping the patient I also help the caregiver which is usually a family member. They really need a break once in a while and Im glad to be there for them. Advice to other volunteers Listen listen listen Your patients and their caregivers will be your teachers and listening is the greatest gift you can give them. vnh I am Jean Carr left has been a VNH volunteer for several years. She spent more than 400 hours in 2014 with VNH patients. VNH Volunteers Donate Time Compassion and More There to lend a hand VNH volunteers spend hundreds of hours each year with hospice patients. At VNH were extremely fortunate to have a team of 98 dedicated volunteers who generously donate their time and offer compassion to our hospice patients each year. In 2014 alone the team logged a total of 1656 hours or 143 home visits. And while they dont deliver clinical services what they do provide is invaluable moral and emotional support for both patients and their family members. The team is currently led by Randy Macdonald Coordinator of Volunteer Services. He says that in addition to being there for patients both as companion and supporter VNH volunteers donate their time to help patients in other ways. Our volunteers participate in projects that provide comfort through massage knitted and quilted goods and being a much-needed listener says Macdonald. When not making home visits VNH volunteers are helping with VNH events assisting at Wellness Clinics and participating in other fund-raising activities for VNH. Macdonald says that volunteers often prefer to stay behind the scenes and dont want a lot of recognition. But I go above and beyond to show them how much VNH appreciates what they do. Im very proud of this team. n The last good thing in a persons life could be a Hospice volunteer. VNHV I S I T I N G N U R S E a n d H O S P I C E for VERMONT and NEW HAMPSHIRE connect FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT BECOMING A VNH VOLUNTEER CALL 888-300-8853 OR VISIT WWW.VNHCARE.ORG w w w . v n h c a r e . o r g 8 8 8 . 3 0 0 . 8 8 5 3 7 For more than two years VNH-leased vehicles have traveled to all parts of the agencys 4000-square-mile territory as our caregivers have made their way to patients homes in these reliable economic vehicles. The cars are a colorful reminder that VNH is deeply rooted in the communities in which we serve. But how cost effective is it to maintain a eet of 20 vehicles According to Mike Counter VNHs Senior Director of Finance VNH pays an average of 7100 in mileage reimbursement to each full-time employee using her own vehicle to make home visits each year. Counter says the average net cost for the leased VNH vehicles is much less. Employees who use our vehicles contribute to the cost via payroll deductions. That covers the cost of personal use of the vehicle. Drivers are given a gas card to cover work use. Another benefit of having the VNH vehicles is that the maintenance and upkeep are covered under the lease agreement. Our clinicians are busy people. It is important that they are safe on the roads and we know the VNH cars are well-maintained he says. n ROAD WARRIORS VNH CARS DRIVE DOWN COSTS Average yearly cost savings per VNH vehicle 1300 More than 400 butteries were released last September in memory of loved ones who passed away. Many of the beautiful winged creatures seemed to linger with the crowd. One woman said When the buttery landed on my hand it was like my son was here with me. Join us for this very special event and support VNHs Hospice programs and services. For more information please visit www.vnhcare.orgevents or call 888-300-8853. Join us for VNHs 6th Annual Wings of Hope Buttery Release AUGUST 29 20151PM-3PM COLBURN PARK IN LEBANON NH VISIT WWW.VNHCARE.ORG FOR MORE I adore my car It really does help identify us to patients and others in the towns we service. One patient said we should all have VNH cars that way shed know whos coming. -Erin Boettcher VNH RN WANTED CAREGIVERSTO HELP LEADTHE WAY HOME FIND YOUR CAREER AT VNHCARE.ORGJOBS VNHV I S I T I N G N U R S E a n d H O S P I C E for VERMONT and NEW HAMPSHIRE PO Box 1339 White River Junction Vermont 05001 Contact Us 888.300.8853 TDD 800.735.2964 Donate Online at or mail check to P.O. Box 976 White River Junction VT 05001 Volunteer Visit Connect through our website Think about why you first got into health care. One of the reasons is probably because youre passionate about helping people. At VNH youll find we have that same passion for helping people and advocating for their health. Were looking for caregivers with exceptional skills and leadership ability to join our team of compassionate committed professionals. When you work for VNH youll provide one- on-one care build lasting relationships and make a real difference in the lives of your patients and their family members. Home care is the future of health care and weve got a home for you on our team. VT and NH licenses required. The VNH team is a strong supportive group and it means a lot to me. I cant imagine a better place to work or a better group of people to work with. I am blessed to be part of the VNH team. Jen RN Triage Supervisor Christina Taft VNH nurse Non Profit Org US Postage PAID Wht Riv Jct VT Permit No. 73