Answering Service Case Study: Hurricane Doesn’t Stop Home Healthcare Provider

Peter DeHaan Answering Service White Papers

Ivey Home Healthcare provides high-quality home healthcare services including nursing, therapy, social work, dietetics, and pre and post-natal care, as well as durable medical equipment. Ivey fills a significant need for high quality, cost-effective home healthcare in the communities it serves.

The recent hurricane severely tested Ivey’s quality assurance standards. Ocean salts blew into key elements of the power grid. Power lines broke under the stress. Electrical power, where it existed at all, was spotty and unreliable.

Ivey’s clients and patients include many persons with limited mobility, new mothers, and elderly persons who need assistance with daily living. The medical and paraprofessional staff members at Ivey provide a range of services from skilled nursing for post-operative recoveries, ventilator-dependent care, or terminal illness management, to bathing, dressing, and meal preparation for persons who are homebound. The services provided by Ivey are necessary for their clients and patients under the best of conditions; during natural disasters, their services can become critical to a patient’s survival.

Ivey’s commitment to its clients and patients is evident in its communications plan. Patients and family members have 24 hour-a-day, 7 day-a-week access to skilled dispatchers online and by telephone. After the hurricane the value of that service was demonstrated over and over again. Patients were in urgent need of oxygen, medication, ostomy supplies, and diabetic resources. Thanks to the highly orchestrated communications plan at Ivey, those products and services needed by their patients and clients were dispatched. Every patient and client received the services he or she needed.

How did they do it when Ivey, like all the other home healthcare providers in the area, was without power? By outsourcing. All of Ivey’s telephone phone calls go to a professional telephone answering service with fully redundant technology, alternate power sources, and highly qualified personnel trained to calmly communicate with frightened, ill, or anxious callers during a crisis.

“This relationship allows us to do what we do best,” says Susan Wilson, Chief Technology Officer at Ivey. “We are in the business of helping people with serious health concerns, not in the business of running a communications center during a disaster. We knew our service provider had to be the best, which is why we chose a state-of-the-art answering service with all the backup and expertise we needed. We had to be prepared for the hurricane and our answering service made all the difference. This was an ideal solution for us, as well as our clients and patients.”

Peter DeHaan is a freelance writer from Southwest Michigan.

*Centratel is an elite national telephone answering service located in Bend, Oregon.
Centratel’s Home Health and Hospice Answering Service assists hundreds of businesses during and after-hours, throughout the United States and is, by a variety of statistics, the highest quality answering service available among the approximately 1,500 services nationwide.

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