Meet IntelyCare’s Nurses

IntelyCare was built by nurses, for nurses. We know, we say that a lot, but we think it’s an important distinction.

We care deeply about the happiness, safety, and overall well-being of our nursing professionals (IntelyPros), and the quality and level of training each of them. To achieve that, we believe it’s essential to have nurses on our team that both understand what it’s like to work in a skilled nursing facility, and more importantly, understand how hard it is to be a nurse. So, we wanted to introduce you to two of the most integral members of our team, Chris and Janiene, who check both of those boxes.

Chris, our Co-Founder and Chief Nursing Officer, brings a diverse nursing background and an extensive tenure educating his fellow nurses. He and our co-founder, Ike Nnah, were inspired to create IntelyCare after they witnessed unsafe, inefficient staffing practices that put both nurses and patients at risk.  From design and development of the app to the continued education and training of nurses, Chris has a hand in almost every facet of the business. He also works to build personal relationships and meaningful interactions with our IntelyPros.

Our Quality Assurance Education Nurse Manager, Janiene, is also a Registered Nurse. She works both with our partner facilities and with our nurses to uphold the quality of care and clinical competence of our team. As a nurse with agency experience, Janiene plays the vital role of both advocate and educator for our nursing professionals.

Our internal nursing team is vital to what we do – they are committed to establishing a culture of IntelyPro excellence, which includes making sure our IntelyPros are fully prepared to work when they step into their first facility, having their back if there’s ever an issue, and making sure they have all the tools necessary to deliver the best possible care to their patients.

We could not think of two better people to work with our nurses on a daily basis. So, we’d like you to get to know them as well as we do. Below are excerpts from our two spotlight blogs on Janiene and Chris.

An excerpt from Janiene’s spotlight:

“I’ve always loved being there for people, but what I really fell in love with was patient care. I saw how my presence and personal touch affected my patients. I found that I had a knack for bringing peace to my patients and I could easily put them at ease when they became anxious about a procedure or diagnosis. I made them feel comfortable and cared for and I advocated for their needs. I also had a way with ‘difficult’ patients’. I soon realized that it was my ‘way’ with my patients that made them feel cared for.

Nursing is so much more than ‘a good paying job’. You need to have compassion, empathy, and be willing to go the extra mile for your patient.

Those are the qualities of a truly good, dedicated nurse.”

Read the rest of Janiene’s spotlight here. 

An excerpt from Chris’s spotlight:

“I’m consistently amazed and proud of our IntelyCare Nurses & Nursing Assistants. Nursing is not an easy job by any stretch of the imagination, but our nursing professionals continue to complete shifts while providing amazing care to patients at our facilities. I really do love getting to come into work every day knowing that we are helping Schedulers safely staff their facilities, Directors of Nursing get the coverage they need on each floor, and Administrators meet their required staffing ratios.

As if that isn’t cool enough, we are helping nurses take charge of their lives. Now, nurses have the flexibility to be in complete control of their schedules. Ultimately, we are also helping patients receive better, more compassionate, quality care because our nurses don’t suffer from as much burn out.”

Read the rest of Chris’s spotlight here.

We have been celebrating nurses all week long! You can read our thank you to nurses here.

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.

IntelyCare Spotlight: Janiene Morris, RN, WCC

IntelyCare Spotlights Janiene Morris, our resident nurse, and Quality Assurance Education Nurse Manager.

In her role as Quality Assurance Education Nurse Manager, Janiene works with both facilities and nurses to uphold the quality of care and clinical competence of our team. As a registered nurse with agency experience, Janiene plays a unique role as an advocate and educator for nurses. We are lucky to have her on our team, and we hope you’ll enjoy getting to know a bit more about her. 

Janiene, what inspired you to become a nurse?

I originally became a nurse because I needed a career with security and hours outside a typical nine to five job so that I could be there for my two sons. Plus, I knew that becoming a nurse would give me the financial independence that I needed.

What is it about nursing that you most enjoy?

I’ve always loved being there for people, but what I really fell in love with was patient care. I saw how my presence and personal touch affected my patients. I found that I had a knack for bringing peace to my patients and I could easily put them at ease when they became anxious about a procedure or diagnosis. I made them feel comfortable and cared for and I advocated for their needs. I also had a way with ‘difficult’ patients’. I soon realized that it was my ‘way’ with my patients that made them feel cared for.

Nursing is so much more than ‘a good paying job’. You need to have compassion, empathy, and be willing to go the extra mile for your patient. Those are the qualities of a truly good, dedicated nurse.

Why do you love working with IntelyCare and with nurses?

I know that working for an agency has its challenges and I want to be there to provide support and education to our nurses, so they feel someone understands the challenges they face daily.

Based on your experience, how do you think IntelyCare improves the nursing experience?

Our Quality Assurance Team provides the nurses with a personal touch that they don’t get at your average agency. I can be an advocate for them when they need it, and I can be a resource if they’re seeking information.

I believe this personal touch can help them become better nurses; we all make mistakes, but we don’t always get the opportunity to learn from them, nor do we always have someone to reach out to us to talk about how the mistake could have been avoided or corrected. If one of our IntelyPros has a misstep, we can recognize where they took a wrong turn, we can reach out to them for some re-education, and through that process, help them to avoid making future mistakes.

IntelyCare also is there for our IntelyPros when they go above and beyond – we make sure to reach out to IntelyPros individually with praise from facilities so that they know they are valued. Nurses work hard, and they deserve to have someone rooting for them every step of the way.

How does your experience as a nurse inform the work you do here at IntelyCare?

Being a nurse is very helpful in my role because I have walked many miles in our nurses’ shoes. I also understand the terminology when speaking with nursing facilities, along with what is expected of nurses and nursing assistants. I can also empathize with both the nursing facilities and the nurses. This makes it easy for me to build a solid relationship built on trust with both.

Anything else you think our IPs would love to know about you or nursing?

My career goal is to become a nursing educator on the college level. I owe a great deal to those who taught me how to be a safe, compassionate, well-educated nurse and that has taken me very far in my 12 years of nursing. I would like to ‘pay it forward’ and teach nursing students before they get out into the field so that they too will be successful, competent, and compassionate nurses.

IntelyCare Spotlight: Chris Caulfield, RN, NP-C

Chris is a Co-Founder and the Chief Nursing Officer at IntelyCare. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his role at IntelyCare, having held multiple roles in long term care nursing, nursing informatics, labor relations, case management, and as an urgent care nurse practitioner. In his free time, Chris and his wife enjoy volunteering at the National Marine Life Center helping care for and rehabilitate baby seals and stranded sea turtles on the shores of Cape Cod.

Chris, why did you decide to become a nurse?

I would say my interest in the medical field began watching Trauma Life in the ER as a kid! So, when I went to college, I majored in Biology with the intention of going to medical school, but after doing some international travel, I realized that med school wouldn’t allow me the freedom I was looking for.

I started talking to some nurses in my network and learned that many states were starting to give Nurse Practitioners a full scope of practice. I was sold. I enrolled in a local community college where I became a registered nurse and then continued on to earn my Nurse Practitioner Certification.

What is it about being a nurse that you most enjoy?

I personally like the challenge of juggling multiple priorities of patient care. Nurses deal with some serious, heavy stuff on a daily basis, so you have to put your head down and use all the knowledge at your disposal to get the work done, all while delivering compassionate patient care. Patients are what it’s all about – so making sure you can help every patient feel like the most valued, important person on the floor is a great feeling.

Do you remember the moment you realized that nurses and the post-acute field, in general, needed a solution like IntelyCare? What was it like?

There were hundreds of times that I or a fellow nurse was stuck doing a mandatory double shift. While it’s illegal in the state of Massachusetts to force nurses to stay, there was no option to go home – you can’t just abandon your patients. So, you’re kind of stuck.

As a nurse union leader, I talked with our facility’s scheduler and other stakeholders to try to come up with solutions – we even considered nurse staffing agencies. Nursing professionals are required to give their agency their availability for at least two months in advance. But many of the nurses work for multiple agencies and give the same availability to everyone. So, what happens is that the nurse staffing agencies that existed at the time weren’t able to cover last minute call-outs because they didn’t actually have the available workers on such short notice. So, they were only able to cover a small amount of our need. I remember thinking ‘wow what if there was a way to pick up a shift on-demand or a way to cut out the middleman who has to call and email everyone for their availability.’

That’s when I met Ike!

We were working together at a hospital – he was implementing an EMR system, and I was helping to customize that technology for nurses. We were both thinking of starting our own healthcare companies, but as we began to discuss their staffing inefficiencies of the hospital we worked in, we came to realize that we shared a common vision for a better, more efficient way things could be done.

Those experiences allowed me to understand the extent of demand that existed, and the lack of solutions available to meet it. So we decided to take the plunge and start IntelyCare.

Why do you love working with IntelyCare and with nurses?

I’m consistently amazed and proud of our IntelyCare Nurses & Nursing Assistants. Nursing is not an easy job by any stretch of the imagination, but our nursing professionals continue to complete shifts while providing amazing care to patients at our facilities. I really do love getting to come into work every day knowing that we are helping Schedulers safely staff their facilities, Directors of Nursing get the coverage they need on each floor, and Administrators meet their required staffing ratios. As if that isn’t cool enough, we are helping nurses take charge of their lives. Now, nurses have the flexibility to be in complete control of their schedules. Ultimately, we are also helping patients receive better, more compassionate, quality care because our nurses don’t suffer from as much burnout.

How do you think your experience as a nurse informs the work you do here at IntelyCare?

Like every nurse, I’ve been in many situations where I was overworked and underpaid. That’s why it’s our goal to make sure that every nurse has a great quality of life and that they are adequately compensated for the amazing job they do.

In the nursing profession, there is so much to know and so little time to learn it. That’s why I’m also a firm believer and champion of continuing education. Right now, my team and I are focused on building out modules that zero in on the specifics that will help nurses increase their individual knowledge and deliver better care in the long-term care environment.

Based on my own experience with distance learning, it’s been my mission to implement these supplemental education courses that engage our IntelyPros and allow them to strive to be the best nurses they can be.

Chris has spoken at length about the impact of the nurse staffing shortage on nurses and the long-term care climate at large, with features in Daily Nurse, Your Next Shift Podcast, and the Nurse Keith Podcast.

IntelyCare Celebrates National Nurses Week 2019

IntelyCare Celebrates National Nurses Week 2019

Happy National Nurses Week!

In 1993, the American Nurses Association (ANA) declared May 6-12 as the national week to celebrate and elevate the nursing profession. These dates have historical significance – the celebration ends on May 12th each year, which happens to be the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the mother of modern nursing.

Nightingale was born into a wealthy British family in the 19th century, and despite the lowly status of nurses at the time, she recognized the importance of caring for others and answered the call to become a nurse.

The status of nurses has been raised considerably since Nightingale’s time – in 2019, nurses were ranked the most trusted profession for the 17th year in a row.

This year, ANA hopes to continue to champion nurses and the work that they do – as it’s clear with recent headlines, there’s still a long way to go. The theme of Nurses Week is 4 Million Reasons to Celebrate – a nod to the over 4 million practicing nurses in the US. This is also a perfect time to thank a nurse for their hard work and dedication all year round.

We created IntelyCare because we knew we could simplify and improve staffing and that we could truly change the lives of nurses for the better.

But the truth is that we couldn’t do that without top-notch nursing professionals. So, we’d like to take this time to say thank you.

Thank you for the day shifts.

Thank you for the night shifts.

Thank you for every time you comforted a patient in need.

Thank you for every time you gave your all during a shift, even when no one else was watching.

Thank you for working holidays and weekends.

Thank you for all you do.

We’re truly grateful to have you on our team. Thanks for helping us change the landscape of nurse staffing, one shift at a time.

 

How are you planning to celebrate National Nurses Week?
Consider taking some time for self-care. Even the smallest acts of self-care can help reduce stress and prevent burnout. Not sure where to start? Here are some tips to become a happier, healthier you – and a better nurse!

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.

Chris Caulfield (RN, NP-C), is the Co-founder and Chief Nursing Officer of Intelycare which the fastest growing Per-Diem Nurse Staffing organization in the US.

Prior to founding IntelyCare, Chris’ past Healthcare experience includes Long Term Care Nursing, Nursing Informatics, Labor Relations, Case Management, and a Urgent Care Nurse Practitioner.

CMS’s new staffing standards are now in effect. What your facilities need to know.

CMS’s new staffing standards are now in effect. What your facilities need to know.

Last month, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced stricter standards for nursing home ratings, which includes smaller windows for staffing penalties and new ratings for short-term and long-term stays.

What you need to know

CMS will get tougher on all three metrics that inform star ratings; survey, quality, and staffing.

However, staffing ratios, in particular, seem to be at the heart of the CMS rating overhaul; starting this week, CMS will automatically hand out one-star staffing ratings to buildings that have four or more days in a quarter with no registered nurse on site, down from the current seven-day standard.

This is likely in response to the New York Times’ investigation this past summer that exposed skilled nursing facilities for inaccurate reporting of nurse coverage in their buildings.

What’s happened so far

Recent changes have made it more difficult to achieve above average ratings.

The American Health Care Association noted that 36% of skilled nursing facilities have already experienced a drop in their overall star ratings since the plan took effect last Wednesday. 33% of those facilities lost at least one star based on their staffing standards. (For comparison, only about 15% of facilities actually earned a star as a result of the changes.)

What does this mean for my facility?

Ultimately, this initiative will make it harder for your facility to earn an above average rating. This is not necessarily a bad thing; it just means that CMS is more serious than ever about making sure skilled nursing facilities operate to provide the highest level of quality care and that conditions are safe for both patient and caregiver.

With that said, your rating is still important, and you surely want to make sure it doesn’t drop.

So what can you do to maintain (or even improve) your rating?

In the words of CMS, staffing ratios aren’t a bad place to start if facilities are looking to improve quality. “Nurse staffing has the greatest impact on the quality of care nursing homes deliver, which is why CMS analyzed the relationship between staffing levels and outcomes,” the agency said in the statement that announced the new rules for the Five-Star Quality Rating System. “CMS found that as staffing levels increase, quality increases.”

Improving your staffing is no easy task, but luckily, 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. We are here to help; we’d love to help tailor our services to meet your staffing needs.

 

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.

Ensuring Safety and Quality in America’s Nursing Home: 5 Key Takeaways from CMS’s Five Part Plan

On April 15, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced some new initiatives as part of their ongoing mission to make sure nursing homes adhere to the highest level of quality and safety.

This comes in response to a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office that criticized CMS for gaps in federal oversight of nursing home abuse investigations. The report from the government watchdog claims that CMS failed to adequately track nursing home abuse allegations in Oregon and put patients in the state at risk.

While the statement issued by Seema Verma, the current Administrator of CMS, did not address the GAO report, it is clear that the organization is serious about reviewing and improving their nursing home oversight processes in order to rectify some of the glaring issues mentioned in the report.

Why is this important?

CMS, in addition to the administering of Medicare and Medicaid, is responsible for developing and upholding quality standards in long-term care facilities through its survey and certification process. This quality assurance is not only in the interest of protecting nursing home residents and their families, but also the individuals who work in them, like you.

Here are our 5 key takeaways from CMS’s five-part plan, and what it means for you:

 

1. There will be an effort to improve nation-wide consistency in nursing home oversight.

CMS uses the insight of State Survey Agencies (SSAs) to aid in the oversight of nursing home quality. SSAs are the boots on the ground eyes for CMS; they pay annual visits to facilities to make sure they are meeting health and safety requirements, as well as state licensure requirements.

However, there are overwhelming inconsistencies from state-to-state in how agency surveyors identify facility issues. This causes a large disparity in quality of facilities – so where one well-ranked facility may be in full compliance, another may have a score of issues that places residents and nurses in danger.
Verma writes that the first step is to examine processes of training state agencies from the top down. By re-educating state agencies on the expectations of a compliant facility and arming them with clearer procedures of identifying and reporting unsafe practices, the hope is that not only will more issues be caught sooner, but also that future negligence and abuse can be stopped in its tracks.

2. CMS will get tougher on compliance enforcement.

One major issue that plagues skilled nursing facilities is unsafe staffing ratios. Without safe staff ratios, providers cannot feasibly provide adequate, safe care to residents – putting nurses like you in uncomfortable, and potentially harmful situations. CMS is looking to toughen up on compliance, but by using data, they’re also hoping to be smarter about how they enforce it.

For instance, since late 2018, CMS has shared nurse facility staffing data with SSAs, so that agencies can predict which facilities have potential issues with staffing and can tailor their reviews – namely by conducting surveys unannounced at times that are statistically understaffed.
CMS is looking for ways to hold nursing homes more accountable with penalties for lack of compliance. The trickle-down effect of this tougher line on compliance means that nursing homes will be safer places for you to work.

3. There will be an increase in quality transparency.

Nursing Home Compare is a CMS-run website that shares quality and safety data to help the public make educated decisions on where they receive care, where they send their families for care, and where they work. While CMS currently shares important payroll-based journal (PBJ) data and quality ratings on their site, they have made a commitment to publish even more data.

When a facility is deemed unsafe, the public has a right to know. So, Verma promised that CMS will not only publish but also actively spread the word when nursing homes fail to meet minimum quality standards. CMS also recognizes that transparency means not only publishing more data, or making data more readily available, but publishing data that the public can understand and use to make informed decisions.

4. Quality can improve once old ways are removed.

“This is not business as usual — we are pushing beyond the status quo,” wrote Verma. While CMS has always been responsible for ensuring quality, just as healthcare practice continues to evolve, so should the methods by which we measure the quality of our healthcare facilities.

Part of pushing past the status quo comes with the hard look CMS takes on its current processes and asking how they can be improved.

One way is to score providers on outcomes, not on their adherence to facility processes. This helps facilities push past practices that are done because they always have been and evolve towards practices that are done because they actually improve patient outcomes.

Money can also be a key driver to improve quality. CMS fines facilities a Civil Money Penalty (CMP) for non-compliance and these dollars could be put to good use. CMS plans to invest these dollars “to reduce adverse events, improve staffing quality and improving quality of care for residents with dementia.”

5. CMS will prioritize patients (and providers) over paperwork.

While proper documentation is essential in any healthcare setting, patients lose out when paperwork forces nurses to spend more time in front of a computer and less time bedside. Studies also cite administrative burden as one of the leading reasons for nurse burnout. (Read more about our thoughts on nursing burnout here.)

But how do you minimize burden while keeping patients safe? CMS is promising to take the challenge head-on. When implementing new rules and requirements for quality and safety, they want to focus on taking the most efficient approach to training and compliance. Verma emphasizes this point, stating that “going forward, we will continue to think about how we can streamline processes and eliminate obsolete, unnecessary, or duplicative provisions and we are interested in hearing from all stakeholders on ways to improve our programs.”

 

At IntelyCare, we are in a unique position as a partner of both nursing professionals and skilled nursing facilities, two stakeholders at the very epicenter of this issue. While it’s troubling to see the myriad of problems that nursing homes face come to light, we’re encouraged by the words and promises of Verma and her team.

We believe it is a step in the right direction to acknowledge that our nation’s nursing homes could be better and that there are initiatives in the works to make them better. We can always do better for our most vulnerable population, whether it’s by improving the quality of their care or the conditions of their caregivers.

We look forward to watching these changes unfold, and hope a safer nursing home experience, for you and your patients, is on the horizon.

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.