Nurses of Note Awards 2022: The Senior Manager of Clinical Professional Development

PerfectServe’s Nurses of Note awards program honors nurses who deserve recognition for their remarkable resilience and unwavering dedication to their patients. In the second year of the Nurses of Note program, PerfectServe wants to shine a light on the integrity, perseverance, and compassion that nurses so regularly display in the course of caring for patients.

The incredible stories of these honorees paint a clear picture of the individuals who populate this noble profession, and their experiences offer just a glimpse into the many ways they make the world a better place. Of the 200-plus nominations PerfectServe received, we selected a group of providers to spotlight throughout the year.

August of 2022 holds many holidays and awareness dates that pertain to childhood illnesses and health: Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month, Children’s Vision and Learning Month, National Breastfeeding Month, and National Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Month—just to name a few. In honor of the way this month brings many important issues to the forefront, we chose to profile a nurse who works directly or partially in pediatrics.

Honoree 7: The Senior Manager of Clinical Professional Development at Northern Westchester Hospital (Mount Kisco, NY) — Meghan Walter

Meghan Walter is the Senior Manager of Clinical Professional Development at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, NY. Part of Northwell Health, Northern Westchester Hospital specializes in cancer care, orthopedic and spine conditions, and maternity services. Meghan’s role as an educator makes her job especially important for the emergency department and the behavioral health, short stay, and pediatrics units. That’s a lot of hats to wear, but Meghan doesn’t mind.

Meghan knew she wanted to pursue a career in nursing in high school. Her father became ill and was hospitalized, and she saw first hand how the ICU nurses took care of both her father and her family. She was instantly inspired, and this experience put her on a trajectory to become a registered nurse in New York. She began her career as a telemetry and emergency department care nurse before she obtained her master’s degree in education. She later took on the role of Clinical Professional Development Educator, and though she does not care for patients directly at this time, her educational role is instrumental in teaching others at the hospital how to provide better care.

As a clinical educator, Meghan cited the Association of Nursing Professional Development to describe the purpose of her role, which is to “advance quality healthcare by defining and promoting professional  development practices.” In other words, her goal is to be an advocate and a leading resource for nursing professionals and their development practice. Meghan oversees orientations and fellowships, mentors nurses, partners with academic organizations for educational tools, and advocates for the spirit of inquiry through knowledge acquisition and development. Meghan says her role helps nurses by promoting lifelong learning that will, in turn, provide an environment for safe practices at the bedside for patients. 

Part of Meghan’s job is to create new training programs for the nursing staff at Northern Westchester Hospital. In one of these programs, Meghan taught new emergency department nurses how to use evidence-based practices in learning about new equipment. The nurses had to video the use of the latest equipment and upload these videos to an educational YouTube channel. They then printed out QR codes for easy access to the educational sessions. These videos helped other nurses and care team members quickly access video resources when operating new equipment, ensuring the entire team—regardless of department—would be better prepared to do their jobs.

Meghan also creates podcasts to disseminate information to the entire staff. Some of the podcast topics include hypertensive crisis in pregnancy, stroke, neurocritical care, surgical procedures, and more. Meghan says this is especially helpful for auditory learners, who can hear from the doctors and nurses themselves about a variety of topics. Alongside podcasts, Meghan’s team created the “Collaborative Care Connection: Improving Teamwork and Patient Safety with a Sustainable, Patient-Centered Bedside Hand-Off” poster. This staff-led project was developed to incorporate patient and best practice information into a report. Meghan assisted the team by finding research articles that supported their findings, eventually instilling multiple process changes to ensure frontline nursing staff had all the tools needed to facilitate proper patient handoffs at the bedside. As a reward for their efforts, her team was chosen to present these findings to other nurses at the Sigma Theta Tau Creating Healthy Work Environments Conference in Washington, D.C., in 2021.

Meghan’s educational role is what led her to become involved with pediatrics. In the emergency department, Meghan always had a special fondness for pediatric patients. When she stepped into her educational role, she was able to visit her hospital system’s children’s hospital to learn from and educate nurses there. On one particular trip, she learned about Northwell’s BEEMindful Program, which assesses children with neurobehavioral disorders such as autism spectrum disorder, ADD, and ADHD. The program allows providers to cluster their care and communicate with patients in a way that ensures maximum learning and understanding. Realizing her community hospital did not have a program like this, Meghan worked with a multidisciplinary team to develop sensory carts and education for all staff to identify and communicate with this population. The carts had hospital-grade diversionary activities and communication devices to ensure staff were able to provide person-centered care to pediatric patients with sensory needs. Everyone who volunteered to participate in the program did so because they had a loved one in their life with sensory needs.

But Meghan’s work in pediatrics doesn’t stop there. She once made a presentation to the Northwell Pediatric Service Line on the care of a “safe haven” infant. In New York, safe haven infants are babies up to 30 days old who are dropped off at local hospitals, EMS sites, and police and fire stations. Though the occurrence is rare, and there are policies in place related to these instances, Meghan realized there was very little guidance about which medical tests and treatments should be administered on safe haven infants who appear healthy. She worked with a team to create care guidelines, ensuring there are concrete best practices in place when and if one of these patients presents at their facility.

To say the least, Meghan is an extremely valuable member of the team at Northern Westchester Hospital. We at PerfectServe are inspired by her determination, leadership, and commitment to spreading knowledge. Her nominator wrote that Meghan “truly embodies what it means to be a dedicated resource, bedside nurse, advocate, and educator, and has improved the practice of all she encounters.” We couldn’t agree more!

Thank You

Meghan, your devotion to the continuing education of nurses and other care team members is admirable. PerfectServe is honored to highlight the work you do for Northern Westchester Hospital and for the nursing community at large. Thanks to you and the rest of your team for the impactful work you do every day!

Q&A

In addition to learning about Meghan’s role, we posed some additional questions to get to know her a bit better.

Why did you choose to become a nurse?
I always wanted to be in the medical field but initially thought I wanted to be a physician. I was a volunteer at my local Emergency Medical Service agency as an emergency medical technician. When I was a senior in high school, my father became ill and was hospitalized. It was the intensive care nurses that truly made my father and family feel comforted during that time. At that moment, I knew nursing was the right fit for me.

What is the biggest lesson you learned while serving as a nurse throughout the pandemic?
I learned how effective communication and resource allocation is the key to overcoming almost everything. This was so with the healthcare team, as we had staff pitch in from all hospital areas throughout COVID-19. We also had to learn to communicate about all of the changing diagnostics and treatments. It was also super important to keep families in the loop as much as possible. It was a scary time! We went from a hospital with 24/7 visitation to no visitation at all. We embraced technology and worked to connect patients with their families.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to your younger self about working in healthcare?
Nursing is a hard profession—mentally, physically, and emotionally. But there are times when you can see you truly made a difference for one person, and that is the best experience ever. Be sure to hold onto that feeling, especially during the most difficult times.

What do you do to relax after a stressful day?
After a stressful day, I regenerate and recharge by spending time with friends and family. I have a particular friend I call who helps me to destress on my way home. I also love reading. The last (non-nursing) book I read was “Rock Paper Scissors” by Alice Feeney. I love psychological thrillers.

What changes would you like to see in the nursing field in the future?
I would love to see the nursing profession continue to remain one of the top most-trusted professions. I also feel it is extremely valuable for nurses to spearhead healthcare policy and research and to be at the table with our physician partners and the interprofessional team. Teamwork and collaboration create successful outcomes for patients and families!

If you had to pick one song to describe you as a nurse, what would it be?
“I’ll Be There for You” by The Rembrandts. As an educator and nurse, I feel this song best describes what I do—I’m there for the team.

Make sure to follow our blog as we publish in-depth profiles about more of our deserving Nurses of Note honorees throughout the year.

For more about Nurses of Note 2022, check out the full list of winners.

Best Practices for Healthcare Software Deployment

The HDM KLASroom Series is a virtual eLearning series from Health Data Management and KLAS Research. The series aims to share insights that can advance the healthcare industry and educate healthcare leaders and their teams about the industry’s latest technological processes and trends. In the first HDM KLASroom episode, PerfectServe’s Kelly Conklin and Gabrielle Eagles—Chief Clinical Officer and Sr. Director of Marketing, respectively—spoke with Sue Armentrout, who serves as VP of Nursing Informatics and Evidence-Based Practice at Bon Secours Mercy Health, about best practices in software development and deployment that can help to improve the clinician experience. You can watch the episode below or keep reading to get an overview with main takeaways.

When it comes to best practices for software development and deployment in healthcare, improving the clinician experience should always be a central consideration. Whether you’re a manager, a member of the care team, or both, you know these practices matter long before implementation has occurred. This was true for Bon Secours Mercy Health, a large health system based in the Midwest with 50 hospitals worldwide under its umbrella. Bon Secours Mercy Health first implemented PerfectServe’s clinical communication platform in 2018, and the two organizations have been close partners ever since. In this episode, Armentrout spoke with the PerfectServe team about the support the company provides and shared some best practices about implementing and continuously improving communication tools. According to Sue, establishing effective workflows and positive practices at the start will set a system up to achieve successful outcomes. What are those best practices, then? Let’s take a look.

Pick the Right Vendor

A successful software deployment starts with the right software—and therefore, the right vendor. The right vendor solves or nearly eliminates the issues the organization is facing, which in turn decreases frustration across the care team. In the context of clinical communication, frustration is most often caused by inefficient software design, click fatigue, lack of interoperability, siloed deployments, and a lack of insights from end users, all of which contribute to a negative experience and burnout for clinicians. The right vendor should address these core issues by working to remove communication barriers based on the client’s guidance, but the vendor’s team should also offer novel solutions and new workflow suggestions to widen the lens of what powerful communication can accomplish. Bon Secours Mercy Health chose PerfectServe to remove communication barriers, consolidate its software footprint, and improve clinical communication and collaboration between providers.

Bon Secours Mercy Health

“A good vendor will involve users in both the development and deployment process,” said Eagles. “They will be a true partner and work well with others. They will offer policy and governance best practices, and they will have an eye on the future so they can scale and continuously improve along with you.”

Create a Continuous Improvement Cycle

Creating a continuous cycle of improvement relies heavily on the first best practice mentioned above: picking the right vendor. The right vendor should be a partner who supports longevity, has experience in the field, and is willing to innovate to keep up with the pace of change. As technology changes, so does innovation. Health systems have to juggle new guidelines, changing patient expectations, evolving priorities, and many other variables, and a good technology partner will be there every step of the way. Armentrout noted that it’s important to work with a partner who has “eyes for growth,” meaning the partner will have experience working with customers and end users to identify pain points, is comfortable exchanging ideas, plays nice with other vendors, and has throughput initiatives. With these traits, your partner will always be willing to tackle new issues that arise, creating a cycle of continuous improvement and growth.

A continuous improvement cycle is also deeply reliant on identifying pain points through deliberate listening. Bon Secours Mercy Health experienced nurse and provider dissatisfaction with desktop-based communication workflows and is now working with PerfectServe to do away with a setup that, according to end users, can sometimes inhibit a clinician’s ability to provide patient care. In particular, nurses felt tied to their computer and laptop screens and expressed how this limited their ability to flexibly communicate and provide bedside care. After identifying this pain point, Bon Secours Mercy Health worked closely with PerfectServe to roll out a Care Mobility program that puts smartphones in the hands of nurses. This mobile-first approach gives nurses the full power of PerfectServe at their fingertips no matter where they’re located, and the rollout is the product of a system and partner working together to continuously solve problems and improve the clinician experience.

mobile first approach

Armentrout said a good partner is one who is “willing to walk that innovation with us and continue to change as technology changes and as the organization changes.”

Know the Power of Consultative Deployments

PerfectServe has worked with clinicians, care teams, and healthcare systems for over two decades. During this time, we’ve learned what needs to be in the library of best practices for successful software implementations, and one of the most powerful tools from which a health system can benefit is a true consultative deployment. This was the case for Bon Secours Mercy Health, as consultative deployments allow for a firsthand and up-close look at pain points experienced by care team members. While implementing and deploying the Care Mobility program, providers, management, PerfectServe team members, and stakeholders participated in active bedside simulations. This allowed all parties to consult on what solutions were working, what issues or communication functions were causing delays, and where other features or functionality could be added or simplified. This collaborative effort makes deployment smoother and surfaces real-time issues that need to be addressed.

Bon Secours Mercy Health had a strategic plan built out for their Care Mobility program, and with a consultative deployment, PerfectServe was able to assign a team to the project to learn the ways of the system. Armentrout noted that pushback from both parties during a consultative deployment is also a part of best practices, as pushback strengthens the necessary program components and highlights what functionalities are most critical for success. These practices all work in tandem to facilitate a solution deployment that will ultimately make the experience better for clinicians, as pain points will already have been diagnosed, discussed, and rectified.

Critical functions

“[Bon Secours Mercy Health] has structured ourselves to be more of a shared service that is interested in standardizing across the ministry,” Armentrout said. “If we have to work with separate teams on every implementation, it’s reliving and then reinforcing, and we’re bound to get off track. Having that one team that is, oftentimes, coming to tell us, ‘this is where somebody else wants to get off track,’ then we can follow up with that. It’s been great working with a single team like PerfectServe.”

Decrease Variance in Software Use with Governance

Another best practice in successful software deployment is the use of governance and strategic policies. Armentrout and Conklin agreed that governance and other policies should be discussed regularly in work groups and oversight committees to advance initiatives. At Bon Secours Mercy Health, governance is an important part of establishing standards for different jobs within the health system. Having key stakeholders in the room where decisions are made drastically improves the flow and implementation cadence of software deployments, which ultimately moves the system toward the goal of better clinician experiences.

Governance is essential to addressing key issues and expectations during software development and deployment. The PerfectServe and Bon Secours Mercy Health teams were able to use governance strategies to address policies related to the Care Mobility program, including expected time frames for communication functionalities, compliance measures for communication response times, and more. Governance strategies should also take note of insight from the end user, who will help to drive innovation if they’re invited to participate in policy creation.

Governance strategies

“What we find to be most successful in all of our implementations—and then supporting our customers afterward—is having a multidisciplinary approach,” said Conklin. “This happens when everybody who is going to be impacted has a seat at the table to make those decisions on what gets implemented, how it gets implemented, who is going to be mandated to use the platform, how those communications are going to flow, and how things are going to work, day-to-day, within the organization.”

Identify Opportunities to Consolidate the Tech Stack

Reducing the number of applications a provider needs to log in and out of is another way to improve the clinician experience. Many healthcare organizations have an overwhelming number of technology applications to manage, forcing members of the care team to use a variety of systems to communicate and otherwise do their jobs. A project team from the right vendor will put themselves into clinicians’ shoes to understand where communication is lacking and how inefficiencies related to siloed, ineffective technology are contributing to burnout.

Project Team

During a software deployment, look for ways to reduce an organization’s tech stack by asking the following questions:

  • How can this system integrate with key solutions already in use?
  • How will this solution be used differently than existing solutions?
  • Does this solution reduce our portfolio of applications and resources?
  • What functionalities can be added, removed, or combined to reduce clinician frustration?
  • How will this leverage the communication process inside of the EHR? Does it leverage this primary platform?

These questions almost invariably lead to answers that can shape what to integrate with, or replace, to improve operational efficiencies and reduce burnout, increase collaboration, and improve communication.

“The ability to get the right alert or communication to the nurse or patient care tech helps us reduce some redundant systems in the background,” Armentrout said. “That will have a huge impact for many within our organization.”

Remember the Keys to Success

Remembering these best practices for your next technology deployment is essential to enhancing the clinician experience. Here are some key takeaways:

  1. Partnership matters! Find the right partner for your system by choosing a flexible, innovative, and experienced vendor.
  2. Establish clear policies and instill ongoing governance to enforce.
  3. Prioritize—and be an active participant in—consultative deployments.
  4. Work with your vendor to establish a cycle of continuous improvement.
  5. Burnout is real! Bring provider needs and pain points to the forefront, and find ways to address these issues with your vendor partner.
  6. Listen to end users—they drive innovation.
  7. Having key stakeholders in the room when decisions are made is essential for policy and software decisions.

“When you’re selecting a vendor, look for someone who is in it for the long haul, has a keen eye on the future, involves end users, plays well with other vendors, and has a strategy to scale and for continual improvement,” said Eagles. “We know communication workflows can be really complex, and our goal as a vendor is to manage that complexity for you so that clinicians can focus on patient care.”

Want to learn more? Check out the 8-step process hospitals and health systems are using to upgrade their clinical communication strategy.

Nurses of Note Awards 2022: The Nurse Navigator and Staff Educator

PerfectServe’s Nurses of Note awards program honors nurses who deserve recognition for their remarkable resilience and unwavering dedication to their patients. In the second year of the Nurses of Note program, PerfectServe wants to shine a light on the integrity, perseverance, and compassion that nurses so regularly display in the course of caring for patients.

The incredible stories of these honorees paint a pretty clear picture of the people who populate this noble profession, and their experiences offer just a glimpse into the many ways they make the world a better place. Of the 200-plus nominations PerfectServe received, we selected a group of providers to spotlight during the month of May—which, of course, is home to National Nurses Week—and throughout the rest of 2022.

According to the Sarcoma Foundation of America, July is Sarcoma Awareness Month. This is a month-long recognition for cancers that occur in the bones and soft tissues of the body. In honor of this month, we profiled a nurse who works directly with this and other types of cancers on a daily basis. If you’re interested in supporting the Sarcoma Foundation of America, read more about their mission here.

Honoree 6: The Nurse Navigator and Staff Educator at Prisma Health’s Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Clinic (Columbia, SC) — Julie Moreton

Meet Julie Moreton, MSN, RN, CPHON, and CPN. She’s been the Nurse Navigator in Prisma Health’s Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorder department since 2020. A nurse of 15 years, Julie now assists with new patient education and other teachings related to cancer treatment. On top of her educational role, she makes referrals to and from other institutions, works in care coordination between appointments, and ensures research protocols are being followed. Julie educates not only new and existing patients but also provides oncology-specific education for outpatient and inpatient nurses, promoting certification and professional development among staff in her department.

Before her current role, Julie served as the Oncology Educator for the Cancer and Blood Disorder inpatient and outpatient units at Prisma Health from 2014 to 2020. As she transitioned out of that role, she knew she wanted to continue offering her unit-specific educational functions to keep the nursing staff up-to-date on current best practices in cancer care. Julie is passionate about promoting certification and professional development among staff in her department. Early in her time at Prisma Health, she started championing several professional certifications for all nursing staff in the Children’s Hospital. Since 2015, she has been responsible for maintaining a contract that allows nurses to take these certifications at no cost to themselves. This is not a job requirement—Julie does this because of the value it brings to other nurses.

Julie’s current role as the Nurse Navigator includes teaching nurses all aspects of cancer care, such as placing central lines and the basics of chemotherapy. On top of this role, Julie also serves as the President of the local Association for Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nurses (APHON) chapter, which Julie calls the “gold standard for pediatric chemotherapy education for nurses.” APHON offers a two-day course for nurses to develop competency in administering chemotherapy and biotherapy to care for children receiving these treatments. The process of receiving the certification to teach APHON courses, however, is no easy feat. (Connect this and next paragraph maybe?)

To become certified, Julie and two other colleagues had first to meet the qualifications to apply for a grant to learn how to teach the APHON course. Back in 2016, Julie attended the annual APHON conference to become instructor certified so she could teach the courses herself. She currently teaches two to three classes per year and, in 2022, started offering the course virtually. Her lessons are available to nurses nationwide.

For her role in navigating the course of cancer care education and chemotherapy application, we at PerfectServe feel Julie is another nursing superhero to her patients and coworkers. Julie takes on her educational role with pride and continues to support other nurses as they further their education with multiple certifications. Thanks to Julie, nurses at Prisma Health and around the country are better prepared to provide care to cancer patients and families, making Julie an outstanding Nurse of Note!

Thank You

Julie, we at PerfectServe are honored to highlight your role as the Nurse Navigator at Prisma Health. Your role in educating others and facilitating classes and certifications makes you a hero. Thank you for the education you provide and the work you do every day for patients, families, and coworkers. We are honored to call you a 2022 Nurse of Note!

Q&A

In addition to learning about Julie’s various educational roles, we posed a few additional questions to get to know her better. 

Why did you choose to become a nurse?
I chose to be a nurse because one of my favorite aunts is a nurse, and I wanted to be like her! I also had an emergency room experience getting stitches when I was young, and I remember being very interested in what was happening. I chose pediatric oncology nursing after volunteering at a summer camp for kids with cancer when I was in college. I visited one of my campers during her bone marrow transplant and was fascinated by pediatric oncology nursing. 

What is the biggest lesson you learned while serving as a nurse throughout the pandemic?
The biggest lesson I learned was definitely flexibility. You are taught to be flexible in nursing school, but I had never experienced a time prior to the pandemic when nurses were asked to care for infectious patients without proper protective gear or care for patients outside their area of expertise. Many nurses are still experiencing change fatigue related to the near-constant updates received during the height of the pandemic.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to your younger self about serving in the healthcare field?
There are many things I probably would have tried to warn myself about, but the main one is emotional boundaries. In pediatric oncology, you face some very difficult days. I really struggled with maintaining emotional boundaries in my early years of practice. I don’t ever regret doing something that makes life for the family of a cancer patient easier, but I know now that it isn’t healthy to be so attached. 

What do you do to relax after a stressful day?
I like having a physical outlet for stress, and I get exercise from walking my dog. Being out in nature always helps me gain a more positive perspective. I also like spending time with friends and watching comedies like The Office; laughter is a great way to relieve stress!

What changes would you like to see in the nursing field in the future?
I would love to see nurses receive fair wages, as well as more workplaces focusing on staffing retention. Some organizations really have nurse retention as a focus, and you can tell by how they treat their nursing staff. I would also love for nurses to eventually have the energy and motivation to engage in professional development and quality initiatives when they aren’t so burned out from the pandemic. 

If you had to pick one song that describes you as a nurse, what would it be?
My song would probably be “She Works Hard for the Money” by Donna Summer. I’m nothing if not a hard worker! I was always willing to work nights, weekends, and overtime to make extra money.

Make sure to follow our blog as we publish in-depth profiles about more of our deserving Nurses of Note honorees throughout the year.

For more about Nurses of Note 2022, check out the full list of winners.

Nurses of Note Awards 2022: Chief Operations Officer Celebrates Pride Month and New Role

PerfectServe’s Nurses of Note awards program honors nurses who deserve recognition for their remarkable resilience and unwavering dedication to their patients. In the second year of the Nurses of Note program, PerfectServe wants to shine a light on the integrity, perseverance, and compassion that nurses so regularly display in the course of caring for patients.

The incredible stories of these honorees paint a pretty clear picture of the people who populate this noble profession, and their experiences offer just a glimpse into the many ways they make the world a better place. Of the 200-plus nominations PerfectServe received, we selected a group of providers to spotlight during the month of May—which, of course, is home to National Nurses Week—and throughout the rest of 2022.

In honor of Pride Month, we’re highlighting one of our wonderful Nurses of Note honorees who also happens to be a member of the LGBTQ+ community.

Honoree 5: Robert Mangold, BSN, RN — Chief Operations Officer at Logan County Health Services (Oakley, KS)

Having been in healthcare for over 15 years, Robert Mangold’s desire to care for others has been a fixture throughout the nursing and leadership roles that mark his career. He joined Logan County Health Services in Oakley, KS, in 2019 as the Director of Nursing, but in April of this year, he was named Chief Operations Officer for the organization. Robert is praised by colleagues for his adept management and guidance, steady professionalism, and kind demeanor. He’s also been known to fill voids wherever needed, including stepping in for other nurses when they’re out.

Robert takes pride in providing high-quality, compassionate care for his patients. In his current role, he’s responsible for the day-to-day operations of Logan County Health Services, which also means providing oversight of all clinical aspects at the center. Robert started his career in healthcare by obtaining an EMT certificate in 2007 but initially struggled with the idea of working in a predominantly female workforce. He shared that, by working in healthcare, he has learned that caring for others is a gender-neutral role. Today, he’s in the process of getting his master’s degree in nursing leadership and management. 

As a member of the LGBTQ+ community and in honor of Pride Month, Robert also shared the importance of being his authentic self and how that identity intersects with the nursing profession and his life in a rural community. Though the gay community in Oakley is small, Robert is passionate about the future of care for the LGBTQ+ population. In particular, he noted that mental and behavioral issues in this community need greater attention from the healthcare industry. Sadly, Robert is one of many who has lost friends to suicide—he shared a recent statistic that LGBTQ+ youth are more than four times as likely to attempt suicide as their peers. As this issue persists, he’d like to see more resources available for young people who may not have a proper support system to help them navigate the challenges of coming out and seeking acceptance.

For Robert, Pride Month is a reminder of the challenges the LGBTQ+ community and its allies have faced, along with the triumphs they’ve achieved. He is a strong advocate for equal rights and for educating the public on social issues that the community faces, both inside and outside of healthcare. Robert and his husband Shawn are proud dads to two children, and they’re anxiously awaiting the arrival of their third child, due in early July. He also has two beloved canine friends—a chihuahua and a standard poodle—that offer a striking juxtaposition of size when they’re together. Robert credits his success and happiness to his parents and siblings, who have been consistently supportive of him, his career, and his family throughout his life.

Robert’s nominator wrote the following about him: “He is an amazing nurse, but more than that, he is just a phenomenal person. Kind-hearted, caring, funny, professional, a great listener, forward thinker, and such a treasure for our facility to have found. He’s a class act!”

Robert’s commitment to multiple roles in the healthcare field and his leadership within Logan County Health Services make him an exceptionally deserving 2022 Nurse of Note.

Thank You

Robert, we’re honored to highlight you as a 2022 Nurse of Note. Your leadership in—and sacrifices made for—the field of nursing are deeply appreciated, and we thank you for sharing your perspectives about healthcare and issues of importance in the LGBTQ+ community.

At PerfectServe, we have a saying that has become closely connected to our core values: “Different is Perfect.” When it comes to the puzzle pieces that coalesce to form your identity—who you are, who you love, where you come from, what you believe, and so much more—we know that a life lived happily and most fulfilled is one where you can be your truest, most authentic self in every situation.

For all of these reasons, Robert, you are an exceptionally deserving Nurse of Note!

Q&A

In addition to learning about Robert’s life and experience in healthcare, we posed a few additional questions to get to know him better. 

Why did you choose to become a nurse?
I knew early on that I wanted to be in healthcare, but it took me a while to decide on my career as a nurse. I started by obtaining my EMT certificate in 2007. I then decided I wanted to be in a more controlled environment, so I got my CNA. A few years later, I returned to school for my associate’s degree in nursing and received my RN license in 2015. I’ve since returned to school and received my bachelor’s in nursing in 2018, and I am currently working toward my master’s in nursing leadership and management! I struggled with the idea of being a nurse at first due to the fact that the nursing field has been predominantly populated by females. However, after working in healthcare and becoming a nurse, I strongly feel that caring for someone is a gender-neutral role. If you can provide the necessary care, that’s all that truly matters.

What is the biggest lesson you learned while serving as a nurse throughout the pandemic? 
One of the biggest lessons I learned during the pandemic was how important it is to maintain resiliency and to always take time for self-care. As caregivers, we often forget to care for ourselves, and self-care was particularly important during the height of the pandemic.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to your younger self about serving in the healthcare field?
My one piece of advice would be to never be afraid of change!

What do you do to relax after a stressful day?
It honestly depends on the day. Some days, I just want to relax and spend time with my family. Other days, I may choose to go for a walk, read a book, or maybe have a glass of wine or a drink with friends.  

What changes would you like to see in the nursing field in the future? 
I would like to see standardized federal nurse-to-patient ratios based on patient acuity/level of care.

 If you had to pick one song that describes you as a nurse, what would it be? 
“Stand by You” by Rachel Platten. The song starts with, “Hands, put your empty hands in mine. And scars, show me all the scars you hide! And hey, if your wings are broken, please take mine ’til yours can open too, ’cause I’m gonna stand by you.” These lyrics remind me of who I am as a nurse and the importance of caring for and helping people.

Make sure to follow our blog as we publish in-depth profiles about more of our deserving Nurses of Note honorees throughout the year.

For more about Nurses of Note 2022, check out the full list of winners.

Nurses of Note Awards 2022: Retired Interior Designer Embarks on Second Career as a Nurse

PerfectServe’s Nurses of Note awards program honors nurses who deserve recognition for their remarkable resilience and unwavering dedication to their patients. In the second year of the Nurses of Note program, PerfectServe wants to shine a light on the integrity, perseverance, and compassion that nurses so regularly display in the course of caring for patients.

The incredible stories of these honorees paint a pretty clear picture of the people who populate this noble profession, and their experiences offer just a glimpse into the many ways they make the world a better place. Of the 200-plus nominations PerfectServe received, we selected a group of providers to spotlight during the month of May—which, of course, is home to National Nurses Week—and throughout the rest of 2022.

Honoree 4: Chris Morgan, RN — QAQI Director at CHESI (Cairo, IL)

Chris Morgan arrives early to work every single day. He is the type of nurse who volunteers during his off days and comes in on weekends to provide support when Community Health and Emergency Services Inc. (CHESI) is understaffed. The small, Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) has nine regional primary care locations in seven counties and serves everyone who walks through its doors—no one is turned away.

Chris is the QAQI/Risk Management Director at CHESI, located in Cairo, IL. But he didn’t start out in risk management or even as a nurse. In fact, Chris retired from another field to become a nurse to better serve his community and to take advantage of the opportunities available to him. Chris worked in the design field for over 20 years, teaching interior design at the University of North Texas. He moved to Cairo, IL, and as there was no longer a market for his design specialty, he began looking for other ways to serve those around him and to challenge himself to learn something new.

Chris enrolled in a local junior college and took many courses in a nursing program designed to increase the nursing population in the area. For the past 13 years, he’s served in Alexander County, a county with one of the highest rates of poverty in the state of Illinois (and the entire US). Service came naturally to him, having been a teacher for two decades. At 61 years old, he describes himself as spry and says that nursing allows him to utilize the “other side of his brain.”

When the pandemic hit, Chris created vaccine programs with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Independent Health Care Plan (ICARE) to obtain information and stock to vaccinate the community. Chris did all the applications, orders, and training required to be eligible for the vaccines from the government-assisted programs, allowing CHESI to begin administering the vaccine on the first day of the national rollout—way before many state health departments could do so. He also independently set up PCR and Rapid Testing locations through IDPH, ICARE, and the CDC. These sites also opened on the very first day possible, with all nine CHESI locations participating.

Beyond his planning work for vaccinations and testing, Chris dressed in PPE daily to perform COVID-19 testing at the door of the largest CHESI facility. He also volunteered to regularly disinfect every surface and machine inside CHESI facilities to protect coworkers and patients from the spread of the virus. According to Chris’ nominator, “There is literally no job too big or too small for him. He is always the first one willing to jump on board with any project that may benefit our organization and our patients. Any time he takes on a task or role, he does whatever he can to make sure it is done correctly. His empathy, veracity, attention to detail, and optimism are characteristics that make him an exceptional nurse.”

Chris’ detailed vision, can-do attitude, and dedication to nursing—especially after pursuing a completely different career path for decades—remind us of the incredible nurses who do life-changing work for their patients every single day. The critical, hands-on work that Chris performed across all CHESI locations makes him a remarkable nurse, indeed.

Thank You

Chris, we at PerfectServe are honored to highlight your story and your diligence in serving your community. Your journey to becoming a nurse highlights the fact that nurses come from many different backgrounds and take many different paths to arrive at the bedside. The common theme? They all want to help their patients get healthy. Thank you for the planning you do and the care you give to those around you. We are honored to call you a 2022 Nurse of Note!

Q&A

In addition to learning about Chris’ previous career and his various roles at CHESI, we posed a few additional questions to get to know him better.

Why did you choose to become a nurse, and how long have you been one?
I retired from teaching interior design at the University of North Texas. I moved to Cairo, Illinois, in Alexander County, which has the highest poverty rate in the state and nation. It’s not quite the area to continue design work! The dean’s wife in Texas oversaw two nursing programs and encouraged me to look into taking courses. I thought this would be a way to help my community and serve those in need. I went to the local junior college and took advantage of a program to increase the nursing population in our area. I have been nursing full time for 13 years!

What is the biggest lesson you learned while serving as a nurse throughout the pandemic?
I learned the importance of being flexible and proactive in whatever you perceive as the next problem. You also must cut through the fat of multipage announcements or alerts and get to the point; I want to receive the CliffsNotes version of what is next and what is essential!

What’s one piece of advice you would give to your younger self about serving in the healthcare field?
Make sure you reflect and review concerns. Ask yourself if the situation you are in is really a disaster or just an inconvenience. Also, don’t overanalyze the “what if?” questions in life.

What do you do to relax after a stressful day?
Weather permitting, I put my top down on the short drive home. I also like to walk the dogs to the river every evening. That is my ritual, and I am sure to do it on good and bad days.

What changes would you like to see in the nursing field of the future?
I believe there should be some type of compassion/empathy entry exam for nursing school. Some get into this field simply as a career choice, and it is so much more than that! If you don’t care about people, you should not be a nurse.

If you had to pick one song that describes your life as a nurse, what would it be?
“The Walker” by Fitz and the Tantrums. When I hear it, I can’t stay still. It also gets me pumped at the end of a long day!

Make sure to follow our blog as we publish in-depth profiles about more of our deserving Nurses of Note honorees throughout the year.

For more about Nurses of Note 2022, check out the full list of winners.

Nurses of Note Awards 2022: The Dynamic Nurse IT Leader

PerfectServe’s Nurses of Note awards program honors nurses who deserve recognition for their remarkable resilience and unwavering dedication to their patients. In the second year of the Nurses of Note program, PerfectServe wants to shine a light on the integrity, perseverance, and compassion that nurses so regularly display in the course of caring for patients.

The incredible stories of these honorees paint a pretty clear picture of the people who populate this noble profession, and their experiences offer just a glimpse into the many ways they make the world a better place. Of the 200-plus nominations PerfectServe received, we selected a group of providers to spotlight during the month of May—which, of course, is home to National Nurses Week—and throughout the rest of 2022.

Honoree 3: Robin Gadd-Lane, MSN, RN – Manager of Digital Health and Transformation Systems at Prisma Health (Greenville, SC)

Robin Gadd-Lane wears many hats in her role at Prisma Health in Greenville, SC. As Manager for the Digital Health and Transformation Systems team, Robin leads two groups that transform, organize, and enhance nursing staff workflows, IT connections, systems, and much more. These teams support hundreds of staff across multiple hospitals and ambulatory clinics.

Robin’s Digital Health team handles all things related to telehealth, while the Transformation Systems team focuses on customer relationship management, clinical communications, and clinical on-call scheduling. Both teams work with technology and people to maintain what Robin calls a “digital front door.” As a nurse with 18 years of clinical experience, Robin credits her background in both nursing and informatics for giving her the necessary knowledge and experience, saying it has allowed her and her team to understand different perspectives among a diverse customer base.

Part of Robin’s role involves adjusting workflows to better accommodate the needs of employees and patients alike. Robin works to help nurses leverage PerfectServe’s Telmediq solution for prompt communication between providers and other groups to improve patient care efficiency. The cloud-based communication platform supports the transmission of time-sensitive information related to patient care, and Robin’s job is to assist nurses with its use in cases such as communicating strokes, traumas, rapid response, and other emergencies at multiple facilities. Robin’s work improves clinical collaboration and communication in many ways, such as removing repetitive phone calls and other interruptions to patient care by using text message workflows.

Among her many talents, Robin’s ingenuity stands out. Around two years ago, she identified a communication issue between athletic trainers and the schools they supported during practices and games. Trainers wanted to provide support and coaching to multiple students and teams, but due to scheduling, they could not be in more than one location at once. Robin and her teams combined multiple technological applications to streamline the communication capabilities between these athletic coaches and their teams, giving the trainers the ability to service multiple schools in very short periods of time. Calling the process the “Salesforce-Telmediq Video Integration,” the process works as follows:

  • When a student is injured without a trainer present, a QR code can be accessed to find information about the student, their coach, and their parent.
  • From this, a Telmediq message is triggered, connecting to an on-duty trainer who can then see all the patient’s info (the patient being the student, in this case).
  • A telehealth link is sent, allowing the student and trainer to connect virtually.

Robin’s process allows the trainer to see the patient in real time to potentially prevent an ER visit for something that can be treated or addressed virtually.

Through her hard work, resourcefulness, and leadership, Robin credits her team for their knowledge and perseverance. She shared that the work she does could not happen without her team, and the Salesforce-Telmediq Video Integration process could not have become a reality without their help. And though she is no longer a practicing nurse by trade, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that Robin eagerly volunteered to return to the bedside to help her colleagues during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. On top of her varied IT responsibilities, Robin took on nursing shifts during nights and weekends to ease the burden of swelling patient loads felt by exhausted staff. Robin’s natural leadership and innovation continue to make the lives of her coworkers and patients easier and more fulfilling.

Thank You

Robin, we at PerfectServe are honored to highlight the dedication and ingenuity you bring to work with you every day. Thank you for so selflessly serving your community, your coworkers, and the patients who come to Prisma Health to receive care. If you’re not the perfect example of a Nurse of Note—someone who, quite literally, goes above and beyond the call of duty for a cause that serves the greater good—we don’t know who is.

Q&A

In addition to learning about Robin’s role and her creative work process, we posed a few additional questions to get to know her better:

Why did you choose to become a nurse?
My “why” for my life is that I take joy from helping and caring for others. I find value in seeing others be successful. I became a nurse because I found, since I was young, that I always enjoyed treating cuts and other injuries my friends or family encountered. As I got older, I became more interested in the medical field. Once I saw how nurses connected with patients and became the advocates for their care, the profession just called to me. From there, I just kept finding ways to grow.

What is the biggest lesson you learned while serving as a nurse throughout the pandemic?
I was amazed by the sacrifices of so many in my profession. I found joy in using my nursing skills to give back to my community by giving as many vaccines as possible. However, one of the biggest lessons I have learned was that, even with all the sacrifices, too many in the community didn’t want to listen to science. The cost was measured in human lives. Therefore, my takeaway from the pandemic is that we ensure our youth become educated about the scientific method. I don’t believe this information is a lie or misrepresentation of how science works. I believe you must utilize the best evidence-based knowledge you have at that time, and as the knowledge base grows, the findings will either be validated or continue to evolve.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to your younger self about serving in the healthcare field?
I wish I had started my nursing journey earlier! It took several years of trying other fields before I landed on nursing.

What do you do to relax after a stressful day?
Playing with my son and hanging out with my husband. Our family loves to hike, so we spend a lot of time on trails and away from technology during the weekends.

What changes would you like to see in the nursing field in the future?
I would like to see nursing take a bigger role in technology. Healthcare lags behind other industries when it comes to technology, and this creates increased challenges to bring about change to the complex workflows in healthcare. Nursing is typically a central part of those workflows, and they are key to that change. The nurse’s perspective is needed to help bridge that gap between technology and healthcare.

If you had to pick one song that describes you as a nurse, what would it be?
I would say the song “Try Everything” by Shakira describes my life as a nurse.

Make sure to follow our blog as we publish in-depth profiles about more of our deserving Nurses of Note honorees throughout the year.

For more about Nurses of Note 2022, check out the full list of winners.

Nurses of Note Awards 2022: The Mother-Daughter Duo at Mount Sinai Health System

PerfectServe’s Nurses of Note awards program honors nurses who deserve recognition for their remarkable resilience and unwavering dedication to their patients. In the second year of the Nurses of Note program, PerfectServe wants to shine a light on the integrity, perseverance, and compassion that nurses so regularly display in the course of caring for patients.

The incredible stories of these honorees paint a pretty clear picture of the people who populate this noble profession, and their experiences offer just a glimpse into the many ways they make the world a better place. Of the 200-plus nominations PerfectServe received, we selected a group of providers to spotlight during the month of May—which, of course, is home to National Nurses Week—and throughout the rest of 2022.

Honoree 2: Dina Bressler, RN, and Toby Bressler, Senior Director of Nursing for Oncology at Mount Sinai Health System (New York, NY)

At just seven years old, Dina Bressler knew exactly what she wanted to be when she grew up. Her mother, Toby Bressler, turned a passion for the field of nursing into an exemplary career, outlining what it means to work in a profession that makes a real difference in the lives of others. It was settled: Dina would be a nurse, just like her mother.

Toby Bressler said she followed an unusual career trajectory for an Orthodox Jewish woman. She enrolled as a nursing student at a community college in 2004 while heavily pregnant with her seventh child. Toby was driven by her lifelong dream of “tikun olam,” a Hebrew saying that means “healing the world.” She wanted to improve health equity in her own community and beyond. In turn, her dream encouraged her daughter to follow the same pathway. Today, both Dina and Toby serve as nurses at Mount Sinai Health System in New York City.

As with many intergenerational nurses, Dina was driven by the actions and passions of her mother. Dina watched Toby care for patients as if they were her own family, saying this taught her much about the empathy and compassion she has for her patients today. As a result, Dina chose to join the Skin Savers team at Mount Sinai Health System, where she received a certification from the WOCN Society as a registered Wound Treatment Associate (WTA). She enjoys alleviating the suffering of her patients who have clinically avoidable skin conditions. She also takes great pride in serving a largely geriatric population and feels passionate about being a voice for those who often cannot represent themselves. Dina credits her mother for instilling these values and skills in her.

For other lessons, Dina had to wait for real-world experience. She graduated nursing school in June of 2020 and learned a lot while serving at the height of the pandemic. She learned a great deal about strength and resiliency and said the pandemic taught her the importance of being a light for others in a time of bleakness. She also learned to see the good in tragic situations, saying that COVID-19 did bring people together in unimaginable ways.

Though the mother and daughter pair do not actively work together at Mount Sinai Health System, they have had many opportunities to team up for research and other projects. Dina and Toby see themselves as a dynamic duo at work and at home, and each says they learn from the other’s perspectives and experiences. Dina shared one of her favorite Shakespeare quotes that summarizes why she and her mother serve as nurses every day: “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”

Thank You

Dina and Toby, thank you for sharing your stories and for inspiring one another to be the best nurses you can be. It’s heartwarming to see how the actions of a mother were so inspiring that becoming a nurse was a foregone conclusion for her daughter. Thank you both for finding your gift and—most importantly—sharing it with others. You are both greatly appreciated by your coworkers, patients, family, friends, and the team here at PerfectServe.

Q&A

In addition to learning about their passion for nursing, we posed a few additional questions to this mother-daughter team:

Why did you choose to become a nurse?
Dina Bressler: I graduated from nursing school in June of 2020, and I always knew I wanted to be a nurse! Growing up and watching my mother become the nurse she is today has always been an inspiration for me.

What is the biggest lesson you learned while serving throughout the pandemic?
Toby Bressler: We (the healthcare community) are all in the same boat and hopefully rowing in the same direction! The pandemic was an opportunity for nurses to lead, innovate, and advance changes in healthcare delivery. The artificial boundaries to nursing practice are more permeable than we thought. Nurses are “boundary spanners!”

What’s one piece of advice you would give to your younger self about working in the healthcare industry?
Dina Bressler: The hardest part about being a nurse isn’t the schooling or training; it’s the actual role of being a nurse. The hours are long and the days are sometimes taxing and stressful. But, despite all that, the positive impact that a nurse has on their patients and those around them makes it all worth it.

What do you do to relax after a stressful day?
Toby Bressler: I enjoy spending time with my children and grandchildren! I also enjoy swimming and delving into a good book. It’s important to have a support system and fulfillment outside of work.

What changes would you like to see in the nursing field of the future?
Dina Bressler: In the future, I would love to see nurses have a larger role in executive decisions in healthcare. While the healthcare system and nursing field are constantly evolving, there is still a lot of positive change that can happen. I believe that nurses can and should be a part of that.

Toby Bressler: In the near future, I would like to see the development of a nursing agenda that will advance and close the gaps in health equity and social justice. In particular, I would like to see full practice authority for Advanced Practice Nurses in every state across the United States. We aren’t doing ourselves or our patients any favors with restrictive practice barriers.

Make sure to follow our blog as we publish in-depth profiles about more of our deserving Nurses of Note honorees throughout the year.

For more about Nurses of Note 2022, check out the full list of winners.

Nurses of Note Awards 2022: The Nurse Informatics Team at Mecklenburg County Public Health

PerfectServe’s Nurses of Note awards program honors nurses who deserve recognition for their remarkable resilience and unwavering dedication to their patients. In the second year of the Nurses of Note program, PerfectServe wants to shine a light on the integrity, perseverance, and compassion that nurses so regularly display in the course of caring for patients.

The incredible stories of these honorees paint a pretty clear picture of the people who populate this noble profession, and their experiences offer just a glimpse into the many ways they make the world a better place. Of the 200-plus nominations PerfectServe received, we selected a group of providers to spotlight during the month of May—which, of course, is home to National Nurses Week—and throughout the rest of 2022.

Honoree 1: The Nurse Informatics Team at Mecklenburg County Public Health (Charlotte, NC) — Tracy Zeigler, Taleba Morrison, and Leigh Barnhill

The Nurse Informatics Team at Mecklenburg County Public Health works to create strategic and innovative solutions in just about every department within the Public Health purview. A large part of a small system, Tracy Zeigler, Taleba Morrison, and Leigh Barnhill power the train that steers many Public Health decisions for Mecklenburg County in Charlotte, North Carolina. The team supports operations within the Public Health system, supporting over 300 employees between Clinical Services, Ancillary Services, School Health, and Trauma & Justice Partnerships. Their work directly impacts community health in areas like Environmental Health, Communicable Diseases, Community Health, School Health, Immunization Clinics, Clinic Operations in Family Planning, and more.

But Tracy, Taleba, and Leigh are not just liaisons for the Public Health department. Officially, they are all Nurse Informaticists, and they work to improve the health of local communities while reducing system costs. These three women perform many duties, including analyzing workflows, facilitating EMRs and other technology training, translating program requirements into operational terms, and working with policies and people to evaluate new initiatives. Individually, Taleba works to facilitate EMR and Preventative Health training, while Tracy’s role supports clinical policies and operations like staff training and job development. Leigh’s role primarily involves School Health, but she also helps troubleshoot issues for staff in the field. 

Throughout the pandemic, the work these women performed single-handedly ensured that COVID-19 data for the entire county was properly tracked and traced. Tracy, Leigh, and Taleba focused on entering data that pertained to COVID-19, as well as developing other tools and protocols to keep the state informed and up to date. They created an EMR to track and contact those who had tested positive for the virus, ran outbreak reports and managed the state database for their county, and even trained hundreds of temporary and reassigned team members to meet the demand for care and vaccination needs. They also rolled out an appointment scheduling platform to streamline vaccination appointments for frontline medical staff and first responders, which was eventually opened to the public based on their vaccination priority status. As if all of this weren’t enough, they also worked with an immunization program to determine how many doses were needed each day and carefully managed the limited vaccine supply without wasting any doses.

Notably, this team trained the National Guard in data entry practices to report accurate numbers to the state. They also devised an electronic and physical storage system for documentation and developed a data dashboard to analyze case counts, transmission rates, mortality demographics, breakthrough cases, and potential outbreaks in Mecklenburg County. Their diligence and work have expanded well past the borders of Mecklenburg County. Nominator Jonathan Ong summarized their work and roles by saying these three women are “clinical, technical, and all-around public health superheroes!”

Thank You

Tracy, Taleba, and Leigh, your dedication to multiple areas that impact public health is deeply appreciated by your colleagues, your community, and the team here at PerfectServe. We thank you for your selfless excellence, and we wish you the best in your continued efforts to make Mecklenburg County—and the people in it—safer and more connected.

Q&A

In addition to learning about their jobs and the many ways they support public health in their home county, we posed a few additional questions to this dynamic team:

Why did you choose to become a nurse? 

Tracy Ziegler: I always knew I would be in a healing profession, but I chose nursing because I knew I wanted to have diversity and variety in my workplace. I believedand still believethat nursing is one of the best professions to grow and be challenged in.

What is the biggest lesson you learned while serving throughout the pandemic? 

Tracy Ziegler: I learned the value of remaining fluid and flexible during rapidly evolving change.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to your younger self about working in the healthcare industry?

Leigh Barnhill: I would give myself this advice: Your empathy may be challenging in stressful situations, but it is a gift.

What do you do to relax after a stressful day? 

Taleba Morrison: After a long day, I like to listen to motivational commentary, play jazz music, and exercise! These things help me relax and unwind after particularly stressful days.

What changes would you like to see in the nursing field of the future?

Taleba Morrison and Leigh Barnhill: We hope to see a more balanced workload, a decrease in nursing shortages, better nurse-to-patient ratios, and for the profession to be respected on a higher level. We also hope to see an increase in people joining the nursing profession who truly love helping others.

If you had to pick one song that describes you as a nurse, what would it be?

“Under Pressure” by Queen (Leigh Barnhill), “She Works Hard for the Money” by Donna Summers (Tracy Ziegler), and “Lean On Me” by Bill Withers (Taleba Morrison)

Make sure to follow our blog as we publish in-depth profiles about more of our amazing Nurses of Note honorees throughout the year.

For more about Nurses of Note 2022, check out the full list of winners.

Medical Answering Services: After Hours Voicemail Menu Script

Medical Answering Services Voicemail Script

Do your patients tend to rush through phone prompts by selecting “urgent” for non-urgent matters, such as prescription refills?

When you plan what to say ahead of time for your medical answering service, you can easily route patients appropriately for any given situation—based on their needs and who’s on call that day.

Do These Situations Resonate?

After Hours Voicemail for Medical Offices Message Routing

What are After-Hours Medical Answering Services?

Also referred to as ‘after hours,’ medical answering services accept or handle patient calls outside of normal office hours, such as overnight or during the weekend. However, modern solutions can also be used during work hours when, for example, staff are busy and cannot come to the phone. With these solutions, establishing an accurate menu prompt that is easy to understand improves the patient experience for inbound patient and hospital calls, especially when your team isn’t immediately available.

Using HIPAA-compliant voicemail services versus general voicemail services is a best practice for healthcare organizations. In general, there are two kinds of medical answering services in the marketplace: live agents and voicemail greetings.

Live Agents

With this setup, an inbound call comes through to the medical office, and it’s routed to a call center with live agents. Typically, these agents are not medically trained to handle complex patient requests. On occasion, it’s possible that an agent without extensive medical training may not fully understand the patient’s needs, and a non-urgent call could get routed as an urgent call. They might even end up giving out the clinician’s personal contact information, even if they’re not on duty.

Another issue might be agents using an unprofessional tone. This creates a negative impression for the patient, perhaps leading them to rush to the Emergency Department or make other drastic choices. In some instances, the patient may even decide not to come back to your organization for future care needs.

Medically trained live agents are better equipped to handle inbound calls, but many of these answering services have variable costs that fluctuate based on number of calls and minutes logged. In this case, it’s also not guaranteed that agents will always be professional and empathetic. With medical staffing shortages nationwide, finding reputable live agents can be expensive with variable answering service levels and costs.

On a positive note, there are hybrid live agent options, where non-medically trained agents take simple notes, transcribe the data, and send the message via text to the medical office or doctor on call. With this setup, the trained medical professionals  can decide next steps and whether to call back immediately or during regular office hours.

Voicemail Menu Routing

With medical answering services like PerfectServe, guided prompts and other built-in workflows are used in concert with physician schedules to route calls accurately. Prompts can be given to clearly explain next steps to the caller. For example: “If this an emergency, hang up and dial 911.” Other common call prompts might include: “Press one if this is an urgent, non-life threatening manner. Press two for prescription refills. Press three to leave a message for Dr. Cervantes’ office.”

When you build an effective communication process for your medical practice, it saves time for both the physician and the patient. An optimized patient answering service educates patients on next steps and provides peace of mind that their message reached the right destination. If routed correctly, critical alerts and updates can be sent to the patient’s primary care physician or medical office specialist.[/vc_column_text]

After-Hours Voicemail Templates for Medical Offices

We put together two examples of menu scripts that might work for your medical practice.

Basic Call-Flow Automation

Here is one standard voicemail template.

PerfectServe Medical Voicemail Call Tree Menu Prompt Example

Don’t have time to set this up yourself?

To have someone else build out a call flow for you, and to take full advantage of accurate routing based on physician schedules, book a discovery call with a PerfectServe specialist.

Customizable Voicemail Greeting Template

This is a text-style version you may use for your medical practice.

Step 1 – Thank you for calling [name of medical group office]. Our office hours are [time/day]. If this is a medical emergency, please hang up and dial 911. Otherwise, please stay on the line for further options.

Step 2 – If you are calling about a prescription refill, press one. If you would like [name of doctor/medical group office] to call you back regarding an urgent request, press two. For all other requests, press three.

Press 1 Selection: For prescription refills, please contact your pharmacy. If you have unique questions about your medication or it needs to be called in by [doctor/practitioner’s name], please leave your name, date of birth, and best callback number. Thank you.

Press 2 Selection: Please leave your full name, date of birth, and a callback number, along with a brief message of the issue you are experiencing. We will return your call as soon as possible. Thank you.

Press 3 Selection: If you are a physician or hospital, press one. Otherwise, please leave your name, number, and a brief message, and we will get back to you during regular office hours. Thank you.

Press 1 Sub Selection: Please leave your name, hospital name, reason for the call, and we will return your message as soon as possible. Thank you.

The good news is these templates may be customized and crafted to meet your unique practice needs.* So whether your specialty is nephrology, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, hematology, surgery, psychiatry, orthopedics, or others, giving your patients and other physicians a map to follow reduces confusion and alleviates administrative burdens. Your office staff can then decide how to respond during and after hours. 

*Note: With medical voicemail scripts or text messages, it’s important to stay HIPAA compliant and train your office staff with best practices. Implementing easy guidelines and policies for how you want to leave voicemails can help your practice avoid costly HIPAA violations.1 

Download These Free Voicemail Templates

An Urgent Message Doesn’t Have to be a Close Call

When a call comes in to your medical office, is the right provider alerted? What if it’s 9 PM on a Friday, and the patient needs to know whether or not they should go to the Emergency Department?

Planning ahead for these contingencies will save your medical office hours of time, and it ensures patient care is handled quickly and accurately.

Not a Traditional Medical Answering Service

With PerfectServe’s Dynamic Intelligent Routing®, you can set up call flows to accurately route to the best available practitioner on call. With a combination of voicemail and voice-to-text options, urgent patient requests don’t have to wait until Monday to hear from the on-call physician. PerfectServe syncs in real time with physician schedule changes so your patients and staff know who to contact and when.

Need a better voicemail option for your medical office? Book a discovery call to see how we can customize it for your needs.

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1(2021, October 15). Head Off Costly HIPAA Violations for Patient Voicemail Errors. Healthcare Training Leader® Blog. https://healthcare.trainingleader.com/2021/10/hipaa-compliant-voicemails/

Leveraging Technology to Improve Health Equity

At a recent virtual event hosted by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), PerfectServe CEO Guillaume Castel appeared as a featured panelist in a health equity-focused discussion titled, “Innovations in and Implementation of Equity by Design.”1 The panel was organized to explore the different ways organizations around the country are working to change the status quo when it comes to health equity in the United States.

What is Health Equity?

Health equity is a broad topic, but the CDC offers the following explanation:

“Health equity is achieved when every person has the opportunity to ‘attain his or her full health potential’ and no one is ‘disadvantaged from achieving this potential because of social position or other socially determined circumstances.’ Health inequities are reflected in differences in length of life; quality of life; rates of disease, disability, and death; severity of disease; and access to treatment.”2

Technology companies like PerfectServe are perhaps not traditionally considered part of the “tip of the spear” when it comes to moving the needle on health inequalities. But in a world where care delivery and patient-to-provider interactions are increasingly facilitated by digital tools, and the makers of those tools count hundreds—even thousands—of healthcare organizations as customers, technology should be a central part of the discussion.

So, how does PerfectServe think about health equity, and what part do we play in advancing these efforts? Guillaume offered some useful insights during the panel discussion.

Learning from Stakeholders

When he spends time with PerfectServe’s customers, Guillaume says that they “tend to force me to focus on three things”:

  • Bringing joy back to caregivers: “It’s been hard for caregivers in the last few years, particularly since the beginning of the COVID crisis.”
  • Helping them strategize around how to retain caregivers: “The great resignation that is impacting all industries [has had a particularly] massive impact on the healthcare industry.”
  • Better patient engagement: “Helping them get smarter on engaging and connecting with patients more effectively, and helping them to do it the right way.”

Guillaume also highlights some of the troubling health inequalities PerfectServe has learned about through collaborative research efforts with partners:

  • “Over the last decade, infant mortality rates have been two to three times higher amongst the Black population in the United States.”
  • “In a study we did with one of our clients [located in] the Northeast, [we saw that] wait times [in the ER] are four times higher when English is not your first language.”
  • “[Healthcare] disparities and inequities cost our overall economy about $300 billion a year.”
  • “The average annual health expenditure is about $1,800 higher for food-insecure adults.”

This kind of feedback and insight is invaluable—it comes directly from people with firsthand experience about persistent challenges in the industry. It allows PerfectServe’s leadership team to design company strategy in a way that can alleviate some of these pain points and inequalities by equipping provider organizations with better technology.

“We’ve taken those things to heart,” says Guillaume. “We’ve spent a ton of time thinking about how we can build products that actually have an impact in these areas. And because we serve, primarily, the provider space, which are hospitals and physicians, […] it’s really forced us to think about ways to have an impact.”

Standardizing Patient Experience—Regardless of Location

Guillaume further notes that standards of care are not always uniform, even in multiple facilities within the same health system. 

“We’ve noticed that care is being provided very differently, depending on where the hospital is located,” he says. “We’ve spent a significant amount of time wiring processes [guided by our technology] to ensure that care is uniform, that people can expect the same level of attention, whether they’re being admitted in New Jersey or California.”

Equity in Healthcare Across the United States

At the root of this is facilitating effective care team communication and collaboration, which has been PerfectServe’s specialty for 25 years.

“We focus on building products that foster better coordination and engagement,” says Guillaume. “So, what does ‘coordination’ mean to us? It means that clinicians [in any setting] are going to communicate more naturally, that messages will get to the right person at the right time, that care is going to be more seamless, and that patients are going to have a better experience, regardless of who they are and where they’re coming from.”

Fostering Better Patient Access and Engagement

For many underserved populations in the United States, it’s simply not a common expectation that proper care will be readily available when it’s needed—the trust and positive experiences others can draw from are just not there. Guillaume sees two of PerfectServe’s solutions having an impact in this area.

“We’ve also [focused on] products that improve access for patients. What it means is that we’re going to build tools to optimize scheduling for clinicians so they know how to build their days most effectively,” says Guillaume. “And on the other side of the equation, that means we can optimize the patient scheduling aspect so that people can be seen more effectively. We know there’s a massive problem about believing in having access to the health system, and we know that underprivileged populations tend to be seen in the emergency room when they could probably adhere to a form of care that relies more on access to a primary care provider.”

Research has also suggested that more engaged patients tend to have better health outcomes. Along those lines, one of PerfectServe’s core products exists specifically to facilitate intuitive, multichannel, location-agnostic, and easy-to-access communications between provider and patient.[/vc_column_text]

Virtual Patient visits in Telehealth Better patient access to care
Issues in Healthcare Inequality and How to Improve Healthcare Equality

“We’ve also built tools to engage with patients where they’re not in the hospital, or in the care of a clinician. Increasingly, care is moving outside of the hospital,” says Guillaume. “For health system administrators, it’s paramount to stay engaged with the patients, regardless of where they are. And so we’ve got engagement tools that check on patients when they’re home, or just not in the hospital.”

And although most adults in the U.S. have smartphones at this point, it’s still the case that not all patients can or want to engage with providers using an app or patient portal that requires a login. “When we think about building good products to help our clients actually connect with their patient populations, we take that into account and make sure that there are ways to communicate with patients who aren’t going to download an app,” says Guillaume.

He further notes that the care team frequently includes the patient’s family and friends: “They often play a very important role in making sure [the patient] comes back for a health visit and adheres to their medications.” For that reason, PerfectServe’s patient engagement solutions were designed from the start to support text message, video, and phone interactions that can loop in family, friends, and even other caregivers as needed.

Who Builds the Products?

Within the healthcare system, bias doesn’t just exist among providers—it can also exist among the people who build the products they use every day. Because PerfectServe is part of the latter population, Guillaume points out that diversity is key to understanding blind spots.

“We believe that diversity amongst our ranks—whether they are engineers coding the products or strategy people thinking about what to build—matters. A bias in the engineering ranks leads to bad products. And so, we spend time thinking about who should be on the team, why they should be on the team, what their perspectives are, and what biases they may have. And we believe that healthy disagreement is good for that. For instance, a tool for a male surgeon in New York may look very different than a tool that is thought through for a nurse in Arkansas. And yet, we have to build tools that all clinicians can use effectively. So, we’re being very deliberate about thinking through all those areas.”

Finding the Right Balance

As the healthcare industry evolves—sometimes rapidly, sometimes not so much—Guillaume is constantly thinking about the ways in which PerfectServe’s technology can make health systems better and communities stronger to help bridge the health equity gaps that still exist in the United States. There are many levers to pull as part of these efforts, but by building tools that make it easier for clinicians to coordinate care while improving patient access and engagement, Guillaume believes PerfectServe will continue to have a major role to play.

But clinicians are ultimately the bedrock of care delivery, so in any discussion about health equity, it’s important to find the right balance between patient needs and provider wellbeing.

“At PerfectServe, we think about patients a lot, but I must admit to you that our clinicians are exhausted,” says Guillaume. “And we have to maintain a balance, when we think about new products and new solutions, between what is best for patient populations and what is most productive, most conducive to effectiveness for our clinicians. They’re burned out, they’re underappreciated, and I think they need better tools to [do their jobs].”

Thankfully, achieving health equity is not a zero sum game. PerfectServe remains committed to finding new ways to make the care delivery process better, safer, more accessible, and more satisfying for patients and providers alike.

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12022 ONC Virtual Annual Meeting. (2022, April 13). Innovations in and Implementation of Equity by Design. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). https://www.healthit.gov/news/events/2022-onc-virtual-annual-meeting

2CDC (2022, March 3). Health Equity. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/healthequity/index.htm