IntelyPro Spotlight Series: Jenelle Nachtrab, RN

IntelyCare Spotlights Massachusetts Registered Nurse, Jenelle Nachtrab.

We have a great team of IntelyPros across the US, and we enjoy highlighting the incredible work that they do.

Choosing Jenelle Nachtrab, a registered nurse from Massachusetts, for our next spotlight was a no-brainer.

Jenelle has demonstrated to us that she is not only a great IntelyPro because she works hard and shows up to shifts on time – she’s also an incredibly compassionate nurse. A few weeks ago, one of the supervisors at a facility we work with gave us a call just to tell us how impressed they were with the care and compassion Jenelle shows to her patients. We enjoyed getting to know her, and we think you will, too!

 

Thanks for agreeing to participate in our IntelyPro Spotlight series, Jenelle! To start, can you tell us what made you decide to become a Registered Nurse?

I’ve always wanted to be a nurse – it’s really all I’ve ever wanted to do. My mother and both of my grandmothers were nurses as well, so growing up with all of them being nurses had a tremendous influence on me.

 

That’s great! What do you love most about being a nurse?

I enjoy connecting with new people and helping them heal. I have a special affinity for geriatric patients in particular – they always have a story to tell, and they’re more than happy to share their wisdom with you.

 

How long have you been a nurse?

10 years.

 

What do you enjoy most about working at IntelyCare?

The freedom – I like that I can pick up shifts when I want and choose where I want to work. If I don’t want to work weekends, I don’t have to.
Part of what was difficult being a full-time staff member somewhere was having to work a lot of holidays and weekends. I transitioned away from my full-time job in January, and that’s when I started working for IntelyCare.

IntelyCare has also allowed me to travel – I make my own schedule, so I can travel to new places without having to worry about coverage.

 

We love to hear that. What advice would you give to someone just starting out as a nurse?

I have been able to train a lot of new grads, and they’re always so nervous starting out. It’s important to not let a hard shift get to you – thick skin just comes with time.
I also think it’s so important, for new nurses and experienced nurses alike, to not be afraid to ask questions. I still ask questions all the time – even after ten years, I’m always learning, too. At the end of the day, if you don’t ask questions, you leave room for error.

 

That’s fantastic advice! Last question: what do you like to do when you’re not working?

My husband and I really enjoy skiing – this past year we were able to travel to ski in Canada, and we also hit up mountains in Utah, Vermont, and New Hampshire!

 

IntelyCare provides you with the flexibility to choose when and where you work. Want to take control of your schedule? Apply today to start earning! 

IntelyCare Spotlight: Meet Vice President of Operations, Mike Clericuzio

IntelyCare Spotlights Mike Clericuzio, Vice President of Operations

Mike Clericuzio, VP of Operations

Mike Clericuzio and his team are at the center of the IntelyCare universe – they make sure that our IntelyPros and clients have someone to answer their questions, 24/7. They are also the drivers of quality on our team – the quality of our communication and the quality of our network of IntelyPros hinges on the skill of our Operations team.

We sat down with Mike to help us better understand the immense impact they have on IntelyCare’s success.

Hi Mike – thanks for agreeing to participate in our Spotlight Series.

For anyone who doesn’t quite know what “Operations” actually means, can you walk me through what IntelyCare’s Operations team does?

I oversee the team that interacts with our IntelyPros regularly – they are the ones that make sure IntelyPros’ questions are answered, and we also are the team that drives better service for them.

In the past [IntelyPros] would call in and have long wait times…but we can’t afford that, so we made the investment to expand our operational support. I’m happy to say we don’t have call wait times, and we’ve expanded our availability to 24/7.

We’ve also improved the quality of the network, which was really a two-fold endeavor.

There are situations where we can intervene to help our IntelyPros better understand the needs of our clients – we do a good job helping them to understand their expectations and the responsibility they take on when they pick up a shift.

We also hear IntelyPros’ concerns, whether it’s about something that happened on a shift, about our process, or about our app. We are in a position to take that feedback in and to act on it to improve the services that we provide and, in turn, improve the coverage for our facilities.

It sounds like when we invest in our Operations team, we’re investing in the experience of our IntelyPros and our clients.

Yeah, I feel pretty good that we are moving in that direction. Some of that truthfully is parting ways with IntelyPros who have a hard time meeting our standards – that happens. People work per diem because they need that flexibility, however, my philosophy is if you accept that shift you need to complete it and you need to complete it in a quality way.

That’s why we’ve instituted our rewards program – IntelyLevels – to help IntelyPros understand their actions – positive and negative – impact our facilities and their patients.

It sounds like there is a good deal of nurturing going on as well.

I think we’re trying to be different than other agencies. We’re trying to be very open and available to them. So, when they do call in, I never want them to think they’re a number.

Even when they call in to tell us how we could do better, we listen and have instituted several changes that were actually driven by the feedback from IntelyPros.

IntelyPros have a voice at this company – we respect them, and we need them, and so do our clients. That’s why we’re here.

Have you always worked in Operations?

I’ve been in Operations for over 25 years – in all my roles I’ve always been focused on operations and quality. I know the difference between “fluff” quality – which appeases people for a very short period of time – and the more long-term investment in quality. We have to have the right people that support our clients and our IntelyPros.

I have been doing this for a long time. I have built call teams from scratch and taken them over and created efficiencies that they need to run properly.

For example,  we are implementing a new phone service. It’s a service that will help us improve the quality of our day to day interactions. That’s what we’re continuously looking to do – improve.

I agree – the quality of interaction is so important. I think people want the ease of calling someone on the phone, but they don’t want to wait for 30 minutes to talk to someone, and they want to be able to tell that the person on the other end of the phone actually cares about them.

Yes. And we want to make it easier for them, so they can call us up on the phone and speak to a live agent if they wish, or they can have the more self-service approach, where our phone technology can actually answer questions for them – for instance, confirm a shift start time.

What do you find most rewarding about working with IntelyPros?

What I find rewarding is that we can help them manage their day to day lives.

A lot of our IntelyPros have family situations that require flexibility and it’s nice to see them be able to pick up shifts. Not a lot of companies afford that flexibility to their employees – ours can pick up the shifts they can work, and they’re not obligated to work at times that don’t work for them.

It also has given me a new perspective on the immense support that goes into running a facility. It is really eye-opening when you see the level of staffing they need. I give them a lot of credit.

I’ve had a grandmother in a nursing home and I always thought it worked like clockwork – but there’s a lot of moving parts to make that clock tick and seeing that we can help in that is rewarding for me.

Can you offer any advice to a new IntelyPro to help them be successful?

Know what you’re looking for. If you are looking for that flexibility, it’s there. If you’re looking for a full-time job, it’s there, too.

There are no easy roles – this is no exception. It will be difficult caring for patients that don’t always have all their faculties, but it can also be so rewarding. The first time you put a smile on someone’s face is directly caused by the care that you’re giving – and that will carry you through any challenges the rest of the day.

It’s important to know that there can be more stress related to the types of residents you’re caring for, but that’s balanced by so many rewarding aspects as well.

Last question – when you’re not manning the Operations ship, what do you like to do in your spare time?

I like to golf. And I really love spending time with my family – my two kids are in the older teenager years now and fortunately, they still like to spend time with dad! We’re beach bums, so we like to spend time at the beach.

Thanks, Mike!

What SNFs need to know about CMS’s Patient Driven Payment Model

What SNFs need to know about CMS’s Patient Driven Payment Model

Last July, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) announced a new case-mix classification model, the Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM). PDPM will take effect beginning October 1, which will be used under the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Prospective Payment System (PPS) for classifying SNF patients in a covered Part A stay.

How will PDPM work?

The PDPM system will effectively overhaul the Resource Utilization Group (RUG-IV) system. While the RUG-IV compensation was driven by volume, PDPM will be based on patients’ care needs. PDPM will utilize six payment components to determine payment:

  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Speech-Language Pathology
  • Non-therapy Ancillary
  • Nursing
  • Non-Case Mix

Patients will be assigned to a Case-Mix Group (CMGs) for each component. For more information on the calculation of reimbursement, you can visit CMS’s PDPM FAQ page.

What will be different?

Payment will now be determined by clinically relevant patient characteristics rather than volume-based measurements, like therapy hours. So rather than relying hevily on therapists to drive reimbursements and, in turn, the patient’s overall care plan, the responsibility will be more in the hands of the nurses, who, as you know, are the front lines of patient care.

This will make payments more specific to the patient – which will more accurately reimburse you for the care you provide to each patient.

What does this mean for my facility?

Your facility will need to do some heavy lifting so that you can benefit from this new system, as the accurate capturing of information will be crucial to your SNF’s success.

Under the RUG-IV, only 20 fields were expected to be filled, but now Minimum Data Set (MDS) coordinators will be asked to fill 161 fields using precise ICD-10 codes for patient diagnoses.

Even if you have already participated in an initial 5-day MDS assessment, patient characteristics can change over time. Experts suggest that an Interim Payment Assessment (IPA), which is performed after an initial assessment, can be the best way to capture a change in patient characteristics when a patient’s condition has changed so that you can maximize your reimbursement potential.

Some instances where an IPA may be helpful:

  •  Non-Therapy Ancillary (NTA)
  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Speech Therapy
  • Nursing

Here is a helpful article that summarizes the strategies for implementing an IPA.

PDPM is swiftly approaching. What to remember as you prepare for October 1.

Coding will be a key skill moving forward. CMS has not specified a required coding program, but facilities should consider taking steps to ensure providers have some ICD-10 code expertise, and perhaps even offer incentive to providers to earn some professional coding credentials. Experts suggest a Certified Inpatient Coder credential through the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC.)

Nurses will now quarterback reimbursements. Therapy hours are no longer the key driver of reimbursements, so therapists, in turn, will no longer dictate a resident’s overall care plan. Your nurses may also take on the additional reimbursement paperwork – as an accurate record of resident diagnoses will be vital to accurate Medicare compensation. Make sure you are properly supporting your nursing staff through safe staffing practices.

We are here for you. While CMS’s ultimate goal with this transition from RUG-IV to PDPM is meant to improve patient care, increase the accuracy of reimbursements, and remove some of the administrative burdens on SNF providers, we know that implementing radical changes to your facility’s processes will significantly impact your day-to-day. Remember that you have a resource in us – if you’d like to have a conversation about how we can best suit your needs in light of these changes, let us know.

 

Does your facility need help with your staffing needs? Request a demo with a member of our sales team for a walk-through of our intelligent solution.

IntelyCare was created by nurses, for nurses. We’re here to take care of those who take care of everyone else; our staffing solution gives nurses the opportunity for a better, more flexible schedule to help reduce nurse stress. Apply today to join the future of nursing.

Striving Toward Nurse Safety

Striving Toward Nurse Safety

How evolving the culture and fixing the superhuman mindset can improve the lives of nurses and their patients.

Nursing is consistently voted the nation’s most trusted profession – and yet, it can be one of the nation’s most ‘at-risk’ professions as well. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing has the highest rate of nonfatal occupational injuries.

Dr. Danielle Ofri, the author of a recent op-ed in the New York Times, blames the culture of self-sacrifice encouraged by the healthcare industry. She writes that despite the detrimental experiences thrown a healthcare provider’s way, “an overwhelming majority do the right thing for their patients, even at a high personal cost.” Ofri explains that the code of ethics healthcare workers keep drives them to out-stretch themselves, rather than to complain, or better yet, ask for help.

Chris Caulfield, our co-founder, and Chief Nursing Officer, weighed in on his time working bedside. “Unsafe environments tend to be the norm – they happen on every shift. It should be unacceptable – but that’s the culture nurses come to accept.”

In honor of National Safety Month, we’d like to shine a light on the dangers nursing professionals grapple with every shift – in the hopes that at most, the culture of self-sacrifice changes, and at the very least, nurses can be more mindful of their health as their care for the health of others.

Injury on the Job

Nurses who assist in lifting or re-positioning patients often endure repetitive back pain injuries. Caulfield noted that even when facilities have no-lift policies in place, nurses will be asked to forego policy in the interest of time. “As a male nurse, especially, I was asked to lift patients and heavy objects, even when it was unsafe to do so.”

Needle sticks also are a regular threat to nurses – according to the CDC, an average of 385,000 sharps-related injuries occurs among healthcare workers. This puts nurses at-risk of several diseases, namely Hepatitis B, C, and HIV.

Accidents do happen, but Chris posits that some of these injuries can be avoided. “In the past, I worked at facilities that had no-lift policies, and others that used safer, retractable needles. The only barrier for each of those is price. The price of time saved by rushing and lifting a patient, and the higher price of better, more-advanced needles.”

In cases where the administration doesn’t spring for safer policies and safer equipment, nurses pay the price.

Violence against nurses

While healthcare workers make up only 9% of the workforce, studies indicate that there are nearly as many violent injuries in the healthcare industry as there are in all other industries combined. And the number of violent injuries will only continue to skyrocket as time has gone on; over the past decade, there has been a 110% spike in the rate of violent incidents reported against healthcare workers.

Incidents are incredibly common for nurses who care for patients with dementia. 76% of nurses surveyed in one study noted that they had experienced physical or verbal abuse in the last 12 months. But it’s not something always reported, dealt with, or taken seriously.

Some measures are being taken by individual facilities; hospitals will host self-defense classes or training exercises that walk nurses through specific violent scenarios, which is a start, but until there are nationwide safety standards, violence against nurses will be an inevitable reality.

Burnout

Ask any nurse, and they will tell you that stress is par for the course, caused by a stressful work environment in general, and exacerbated by inadequate staffing levels.

In a 2016 study, 92% of nurses surveyed reported moderate to very high levels of stress. And that stress carries over into the rest of their lives. The same study also found that 78% of nurses reported sleeping less than 8 hours a night, 69% did not exercise regularly, and 22% of nurses’ relationship with alcohol would be characterized as binge drinking.

This chronic stress and lack of self-care all contribute to nurse burnout – an occupational phenomenon the World Health Organization characterizes as “feelings of energy depletion,” “increased mental distance from one’s job,” and “reduced professional efficacy.”

When nurses sacrifice their own well-being, it not only impacts their own health but their ability to provide the best care to the very patients they are aiming to protect. It can also be the catalyst for nurses leaving the field – which will only exacerbate the severe nurse staffing shortage.

So – what’s the solution to an environment where injury, abuse, and burnout are the norm?

For our part, IntelyCare is trying to improve the nursing experience. We allow nurses to choose their own schedule and take control of their lives. We offer a care team ready to advocate on their behalf, and we are a company co-founded by a nurse who understands what it’s like to be on the front lines of patient care. While we hope that our ability to fill the gaps in care will reduce stress on facility floors, we know that our efforts won’t even remotely come close to solving a pervasive, industry-wide issue.

Associate professor Linsey Steege, who studies the health and safety of nursing professionals, sums up the “supernurse” phenomenon perfectly: “That need and culture to be super creates a stigma around asking for help. It creates a stigma around showing signs of weakness and it creates, in some ways, some internal cultures within nursing that you’re not a real nurse if you haven’t worked 12 hours without peeing or taking a break, or if you haven’t worked five shifts in a row.”

Something has got to give – namely eradicating the mindset of self-sacrifice. This mindset that makes nurses so admirable is also the one that is their downfall. If nurses can start recognizing dangerous situations and abuse and advocate for themselves, that’s a great place to start. But ultimately, we also need a shift in the nursing culture.

As healthcare continues to evolve as a result of technological innovation and government policy, let’s hope that these shifts are made not only in the interest of saving money, simplifying and expediting administrative processes, or winning awards, but also a shift in culture in the interest of the people on the front lines taking care of us and the ones we love.

 

IntelyCare was created by nurses, for nurses. We’re here to take care of those who take care of everyone else; our staffing solution gives nurses the opportunity for a better, more flexible schedule to help reduce nurse stress. At IntelyCare, we’re driven to offer nurses and CNAs healthcare’s best working experience. Apply today.

Why Skilled Nursing Facilities Love IntelyCare’s Book Me Feature

Why Skilled Nursing Facilities Love IntelyCare’s Book Me Feature

Finding the right nursing professional for your skilled nursing facility’s shifts can be tough. So, when you connect with a nursing professional who shows up to work your per-diem shift and they are the perfect fit, it’s only natural to want to bring them back next time you need to fill a shift.

Well, lucky for you, IntelyCare’s got your back.

With our super simple Book Me feature, you can hand pick those nursing professionals you wish to continue staffing from our network of IntelyPros!

What is Book Me?

Our Book Me feature gives you the flexibility to choose who will staff your needs making it easier than ever to control the credentials and quality of care you want in your per-diem workers.

It’s so important to have a positive and happy work environment, especially given the stressful nature of nursing. So, if you and your staff love working with one of our IntelyPros and you have an ongoing staffing need, Book Me allows you to book them for multiple shifts at a time. Who knows – you may like the IntelyPro so much you might decide to hire them!

Why Schedulers and Directors of Nursing use Book Me:

  • Consistency: When you book a preferred IntelyPro through our Book Me feature, you provide consistency to your patients and your staff. Book Me also provides the opportunity to build relationships between your staff and patients, which we know is integral to quality care; a 2017 study by the Council of Accountable Physician Practices found that patients believe that positive patient-provider relationships is the key element of quality healthcare.
  • Confidence: Feel confident that you have the right person on the floor. Hand-pick your favorite IntelyPros who meet the exact credentials and experience your facility needs.
  • Comfort: Rest Easy. Book Me lets you book your IntelyPros in advance, so you can ditch the worrying about whether your shift will get filled or not.

Whether it’s in response to the nurse staffing shortage, to cover for your staff on vacation, or to fill the gaps in between hires, Book Me is the perfect tool to augment your nursing staff.

Want to learn more about the Book Me feature? Download our infographic here.

Does your facility need help with your staffing needs? Request a demo with a member of our sales team for a walk-through of our intelligent solution.

IntelyCare Celebrates National Skilled Nursing Care Week!

IntelyCare Celebrates National Skilled Nursing Care Week!

Happy National Skilled Nursing Care Week!

National Skilled Nursing Care Week is sponsored by the American Health Care Association (AHCA) to recognize the challenging, important work that every team member of a skilled nursing facility does day in and day out.

This year’s National Skilled Nursing Care Week (NSNCW) theme is “Live Soulfully” – this week, we celebrate how skilled nursing facilities like yours help our most vulnerable populations continue to live happy, healthy lives. Your residents’ lives don’t simply move on to the next chapter once they come to your facility – they flourish. You ensure that they continue to live soulfully through activities like gardening, cooking and eating good food, singing to music, encouraging them to express themselves through art, reading and discussing good books, but among all that, you make sure they feel cared for, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

All week long, many of you have told us about the awesome ways you have chosen to celebrate your residents and staff – and we’re so happy to hear you have been embracing the theme of living well. As National Skilled Nursing Week comes to a close, we want to make sure we share a heartfelt thank you to you for all you do.

Thank you to the schedulers for juggling schedules to keep your shifts safely staffed.

Thank you to administrators for balancing everything from patient care to food vendor decisions.

Thank you to directors of nursing for ensuring safe, diligent, above and beyond patient care.

Thank you to the secretaries who greet every visitor with a smile.

Thank you to the accountants for balancing the books.

Thank you to the maintenance employees, custodians, and groundskeepers that keep the lights working, halls clean, and lawns trimmed.

Thank you to the activity coordinators for sparking joy and keeping spirits high.

Thank you to physical and occupational therapists that help residents gain back their independence.

Thank you to food service workers that keeps plates and stomachs full, and the dieticians that keep residents eating well.

And thank you to volunteers for giving up your free hours to make a difference.

No matter your role, your impact is a substantial one.

Thank you for making sure that our senior and disabled communities continue to live enjoyable and meaningful lives. We know the job you do is one of the hardest out there and can sometimes feel like a thankless endeavor. We want you to know that your dedication to your residents and your staff does not go unnoticed; we hear it in your voices on every call, and we see it first hand on every visit. While you take time this week to acknowledge your staff and your residents, make sure to take some time to celebrate yourself, too.

Thanks for all you do!

 

Does your facility need help with your staffing needs? Request a demo with a member of our sales team for a walk-through of our intelligent solution.