“Life does not get better by chance, it gets better by CHANGE.” – Jim Rohn

Colleagues,

It is an exciting time for VNH, we have much to celebrate and much to look forward to. Each day we work to improve the care we provide and to be the best place to work throughout our service region. And we are embracing CHANGE to get us there…

I know change can be hard but it is also exciting – full of potential – for better days ahead, for our patients and for you. I’d like to take a moment to recognize the hard work over the last few months before I share what to expect in the weeks ahead. This may be a long message, please hang in there and read to the bottom. J I also know I won’t hit on all of the good things that are happening (we would be here all day), please forgive any oversight and know that it all matters.

Maternal-Child Health – Recognized by the state of VT for excellent care in the Strong Families Vermont program, and was asked to expand our services to fill a need in Windsor county. The team is currently recruiting for another RN Case Manager to fill this need. Stephanie Mozzer has been recognized for her leadership in quality service and program growth and was promoted to Director of Maternal-Child Health. Congratulations Stephanie and team!

Long-term services – Continues to expand its services and reach more people through collaboration with the home health team and expansion of care coordination through OneCare Vermont. The team has been able to maximize dollars in the “moderate needs” program – connecting clients with much-needed personal care assistance. Help at Home is holding strong, building service hours, and managing to bring in a small profit to the organization. Thank you to this team, living our mission, and bringing much-needed service to the community!

Hospice Services – Using a combination of core VNH staff and much-needed travelers, the Hospice team has been able to expand its services to reach a census of 85-90 patients and families, more than a 25% increase over the last few months. The team has also relaunched our Hospice Volunteer program, offering a very important support to patients and families at end-of-life. Thank you for your commitment to deliver this important service to our community!

Home Health Services – Has undertaken a series of changes to improve visit scheduling, communication with patients and families, and to meet our goals of timely initiation of care. The team is learning a lot and adjusting as they go – testing change in real-time. We have hired a 3rd Clinical Manager (welcome Nadine!) to support the field team. Thank you all for embracing change to keep us moving forward!

Quality, Compliance and Education – So many things to celebrate here! Developing and implementing our Clinical Nurse Leader program, onboarding 6 new Nurse Residents, offering CARE rounds to support the direct care team, defending and reducing our denials for payment – a small but mighty group for sure. Thank you for keeping the mission and vision alive in all that you do!

Administrative Team – Way too much to capture here but I would simply say all of our administrative departments have done yeoman’s work over the last several months readying VNH for our system conversions (more to come on that…). Patient Access, Finance, Supply Chain, Information Services, and Human Resources – more hours than we can count, working tirelessly to ensure the transition to Health System Shared Services is as smooth as possible, thank you! I would also like to thank Chris Apicella, Hilary Davis and Patty Rooney for their leadership and significant contributions to this effort.

What to expect in the weeks ahead

Health System Shared Services – In early Spring, I shared a message regarding two important pieces of work ahead as part of our system membership with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health. The first phase of work, known as ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), converts VNH electronic systems to the shared systems for the health system. This includes things like payroll, recruitment, benefits, and budgeting. Part of the move to Shared Services requires alignment of certain policies and processes. Over the next several weeks, please look for communications regarding what to expect, any related policy changes, and important information on training for the new systems – we “go-live” with the new systems on December 26th.

Electronic Health Record conversion (Epic) – The 2nd major project is converting to the health system shared health record. This work is just getting started, with a goal to go-live in May 2022. I am very excited that VNH will make this transition – it will help our direct care team tremendously in their work. Epic has much to offer and is much easier to navigate than our current record. Please stay tuned for regular updates from the project team and when asked, please join in the review and testing of the system – we need your input!

Thank you for all that you do each day in support of these efforts, to improve our care and VNH experience for patients and staff, to keep us moving forward. I cannot promise it will be easy, we know it never is, but I do know that it will be worth it.

With great appreciation,

Staff Spotlight

Lynn Fortin, PT

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