Team Newsletter

vol. 6

Hello Team,


Thank you again for your great work each day and night! We love hearing from everyone and we’re so fortunate to have such a fantastic team working together in these ever-changing times.


In response to the country’s heightened call for justice, we hope you had the opportunity to read the letter sent on June 10 by Rick Utaegbulam, our Night Nurse Director of Provider Relations and Diversity Affairs Coordination. Night Nurse is firmly committed to equality and achieving diversity as a company. We encourage everyone to engage in conversations to help us establish a foundation of diversity in the workplace.


Our zero-tolerance policies on discrimination and harassment will be included in the employee manual, which is currently being updated for 2020. 



CELEBRATING THE YEAR OF THE NURSE


As you know, The World Health Organization (WHO) designated 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife. Our Night Nurses are heroes to patients, parents and families that benefit from their caring expertise. You are highly appreciated by thousands of MDs, that sleep well at night, knowing you are taking such great care of their patients. 


Night Nurse recognizes and appreciates your knowledge, professional dedication and compassionate patient triage you provide. We hope you enjoy the summer, proudly wearing your visors, displaying your significant role as a triage nurse during this pandemic, and beyond.


If you’d like to send us a selfie wearing your visor, we’d love to include you in our next newsletter!!


GETTING TO KNOW YOU: FEATURING RN MARY BONDS


Triage is such a challenging job that one of our Night Nurse medical directors once said, “Only the fearless need apply.” Lucky for us, fear met its match on October 1, 2014 when RN Mary Bonds came to Night Nurse.


Mary’s desire to care for others began when she was young, watching medical TV shows and playing with other kids. Some children pretend to be firefighters or fashion models, but Mary loved to play the healthcare provider. She knew from an early age that she would devote her life to helping others.


After high school, Mary started on her mission to serve the greater good – in a big way. She fearlessly joined the Army and excelled as a 91D Tactical Power Generation Specialist (thank you, Mary for serving our country!).


Next, she began her quest to help patients. Mary went to school and became a LPN. After five years, she knew it was time for her next adventure. Juggling the duties of being a single mom and working, Mary went back to school to earn her RN at Bethel College in her home state of Tennessee. Mary remembers, “Not everyone enjoys going back to school. It’s a hassle for many people, but I loved it! I looked forward to learning new things in each class and getting closer to my BSN.”


Empowered by her medical and military training, RN Mary Bonds then fearlessly took a role in a Level 2 Trauma ER, where she worked for seven years. She also served for a while as a Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) nurse before moving to her current residence in Texas. Today, Mary works in a Level 1 PACU in Dallas, a highly intensive environment that she handles with pride. Her accomplishments as an RN even inspired her daughter to become a nurse!


And for the past five and half years, we’ve been fortunate to have Mary on our team. She said, “One thing I love about Night Nurse is helping people get the correct level of care, any time of the day or night. It’s such a rewarding experience to provide personalized care for each patient while working from home.”


When she’s not caring for patients in the PACU and with Night Nurse, Mary enjoys sports. In particular, she loves LeBron James and she’s also a big football fan – both college and professional teams. You might guess that Mary follows the Tennessee Titans or that maybe she’s converted and supports the Dallas Cowboys. Neither. Mary is a die-hard New York Jets fan.


Join us in saluting Mary for her fearless work as a nurse and for serving our country in the Army. We’re so happy to have her on our team!



DID YOU KNOW?


We’re Growing Again! In our last newsletter we mentioned that we’re signing on more practices to help increase hours for everyone. We also shared just a few of the many Thank You notes from our subscribing practices praising your outstanding work. Now, one of the healthcare systems is literally “putting its money where its mouth is.”


Penobscot Community Health Center (PCHC) based in Maine is so pleased with the service they receive from our amazing nurses and dispatchers that they’ve expanded Night Nurse service to six more of their practices! Thank you for everything you have done to make this happen!


PCHC is the largest and most comprehensive FQHC (Federally Qualified Health Center) organization in Maine and the 2ndlargest in all of New England! This healthcare system has more than 750employees including 200 providers caring for more than 65,000patients.


These new PCHC practices started with us on June 1: Adult Wellness Center, Brewer Medical Center, Capehart Health Center, Helen Hunt Health Center, Winterport Community Health Center and the Community Health Center.


We’re also talking with other practices and healthcare systems that would like to greatly expand their Night Nurse coverage. We’ll keep you posted as these opportunities develop!


Hope for a COVID-19 Vaccine. Multiple organizations are working day and night to develop an immunization for COVID-19 as quickly as possible. On June 2, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House coronavirus task force said he’s “cautiously optimistic” that a vaccine is on the way by early 2021. Speaking to the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Fauci noted that there are several trials underway for vaccine candidates. Researchers at Oxford University are making rapid progress on a vaccine candidate from AstraZeneca. Another candidate developed by Moderna will begin Phase III trials in early July with 30,000 people, including elderly patients. 


We send best wishes to these researchers and all scientists that are tirelessly working to eradicate coronavirus as soon as possible!


Get Ready for Summer. With warm sunny days around the corner, summer also brings its own related seasonal triage calls. Please take time to review the Near Drowning and Heat Exposure (Heat Exhaustion and Heatstroke and Sunburn) protocols! You may also want to familiarize yourself with commonly used summer protocols pertaining to Asthma Attack, Bee or Yellowjacket Stings, Marine Animal Stings, Insect, Spider, or Tick Bites, Poison Ivy and Sumac, Swimmer’s Ear, Food Poisoning(SEE Symptom-Sudden Vomiting and Diarrhea), Enteroviruses, and Hand-Food and Mouth Disease. Kids aren’t in school, but if they’re outside they’ll likely run into some of these most common conditions, with the majority of concerns occurring in adults as well. Be watchful for signs of viral meningitis as well, often associated with Zika and West Nile Virus.


Remembering Our Humble Beginnings. Looking back to September 1999, Night Nurse was founded by Tami Regan, hiring a few experienced telephone triage nurses from Children’s Hospital Boston to serve eight Massachusetts practices. We began operations sharing space with an answering service. As we grew, Night Nurse rented an office in an under-used section of Leonard Morse Hospital (now MetroWest Medical Center Natick). Back then, before we were computerized, RNs manually faxed reports back to our call center to be faxed to practices. We processed nearly 40,000 sheets of paper per month!


We’re pleased that we have long since conserved all that paper, we operate from our own call center, employ more than 100 nurses serving 33 states! We evolved into a leading national triage company with our own proprietary system.


Night Nurse Client was custom-designed to be user-friendly and make RN triage and dispatch operations more efficient. Our system allows us to promptly document patient concerns and deliver encounter reports to practices in a timely manner. It also provides us with valuable data and analytics on healthcare trends, triage service, quality assurance and billing information.


Your feedback, from all Dispatch, Nurse and Admin users, is always welcomed to improve the experience!



HONORING OUR NURSING PIONEERS


In our last newsletter, we commemorated Florence Nightingale on her 200th birthday. We’ll continue to profile more nursing pioneers in this Year of the Nurse and Midwife.


Clara Barton was born in 1821 in Oxford, MA – just a short drive from our Night Nurse headquarters - Clarissa (“Clara”) Barton was first recognized for her heroic efforts personally delivering care, support and supplies to soldiers in the Civil War, earning the nickname the “Angel of the Battlefield.”


Prior to the war, Clara had already led a robust career as an educator, teaching at schools in New Jersey, Georgia and in Canada. In 1852, she opened the first-ever free school in New Jersey with more than 600 students.


After the Civil War, Clara traveled to Europe and was introduced to the Red Cross in Switzerland. She was inspired by the organization’s global mission to provide aid voluntarily on a neutral basis and had the vision to bring Red Cross service to the U.S.


Clara gained the support of American influential leaders such as Frederick Douglass and founded the American Red Cross in 1881. At the time, she was 59 years of age. Clara served as president of the organization until 1904, when she retired at age 83. Through her efforts, the American Red Cross has become one of the most significant humanitarian organizations in the world. Today, the American Red Cross is the largest single supplier of blood and blood products in the U.S., providing more than 40% of the country’s blood supply to needy recipients.


Here are five ways that communities and businesses continue to honor this nursing pioneer and American hero:

  • 1. Clara has been commemorated with street names in 10 cities across the country, including Clara Barton Road inOxford, Massachusetts.
  • 2. Many healthcare facilities bear her name, including the Clara Barton Hospital in Kansas.
  • 3. More than 20 schools are named in her honor, such as the Clara Barton High Schoolfor Health Professions inNYC and Barton Hall at Iowa State University.
  • 4. Astronomers named a section of the planet Venus in Clara’s name, and Norwegian Airlines  named a Boeing 737 in her honor.
  • 5. Prior to becoming a nurse in 1855, Clara worked in the U.S. Patent Office in Washington, DC. She was the first woman to receive a substantial clerkship in the federal government. If you visit the Patent and Trademark Office someday, stop by the Clara Barton Memorial Auditorium.

Clara Barton’s military pass, signed on July 11, 1862 by U.S. Surgeon General William Hammond,
allowing her to attend to the sick and wounded in the Civil War.

Clara’s American Red Cross headquarters for the Johnstown, PA flood response in 1889.

Clara is the guest of honor at the 1902 nursing school graduation ceremony for Blockley Hospital,
which later became Philadelphia General Hospital.

YOUR NIGHT NURSE SUPPORT TEAM: MONICA SIGNORINO


We all love to believe that anything is possible. Night Nurse dispatcher Monica Signorino is living proof it’s true! When Monica puts her mind to something, she makes it happen.


Here’s a perfect and amazing example: One day, Monica decided she’d like to lose some weight. She hit the gym to begin a disciplined course of free weights and she also changed her diet to reduce carbohydrates and increase protein. She worked hard and stayed dedicated to her goal. The result: Monica lost 100 pounds!


She has also applied the same devotion to her education and career. While earning an associates degree from Massachusetts Bay Community College, she developed a love for the higher education industry. Through her ambition, smarts and tenacity, Monica was soon hired by the college to recruit orientation leaders. Ready for her next goal, Monica then earned her bachelor’s degree from Framingham State University.


Now she has her eyes on the next goal: Her master’s degree. “I love to work with students and I’m exploring a career where I can help college students achieve their goals.” We think Monica will be an inspiring role model. Among her many other accomplishments, this 24-year old taught herself to play the guitar, and can speak English, Spanish and French! 


We’re lucky to have this can-do achiever on our Night Nurse team. Monica initially came to Night Nurse through fellow dispatcher Danielle Ramos (thanks Danielle!)  Monica will celebrate her four-year anniversary with us in August. Through the years, she’s seen many new developments at Night Nurse, most notably the implementation of eLink which has made dispatching and triaging much faster. And since she’s so tech-savvy, Monica was one of our first dispatchers to begin working from home.


In her time off, Monica curls up at home and enjoys Netflix or outdoor activities such as kayaking and the beach. Monica looks forward to traveling in the future and is scheduled to attend a friend’s wedding in England in 2022.


Speaking of weddings, Monica is getting married! She met her fiancé Steve through a family member and their wedding is scheduled for June 2021. Monica and Steve currently live in Worcester with their cats Pooh Bear and Bubbles.


Congratulations Monica on all of your accomplishments and thank you for being part of the Night Nurse family!



SAFE & SECURE


Are Amazon Alexa and OK Google HIPAA Compliant?

Amazon Alexa and the similar OK, Google and Apple’s Siri voice assistants are quickly becoming popular in many homes. Maybe you rely on one of these devices to get weather updates, listen to music or even shut off lights. In this installment of “Safe and Secure,” our Night Nurse colleague J. Daniel Holladay, Director of Network Security and Compliance, shares his expertise on whether these devices are safe to use while you’re triaging calls.


Amazon and Google voice assistants are very popular, however many people question whether these devices are “always listening” and eavesdropping on all your conversations. Based on many researchers (including myself) reviewing network logs, we find that these devices are not constantly sending data e.g. your conversations. So, rest assured that these devices are not “always on” or listening to you, until you say its wake word to activate it.


Could they change it to always listening? Sure. However, the police or the NSA probably isn’t that interested in “Alexa buy 20 cases of toilet paper when available.” 


But what about you? Are you triaging at home with a voice assistant nearby? Are they HIPAA Compliant or not? Right now, yes, they are compliant as long as you do not say the wake word(s) or use it while triaging. However, if you accidentally talk to your device or mistakenly wake it up – you are not being HIPAA Compliant.


My recommendation, based on 15 years in computer security and most HIPAA network specialist, pretty much all agree, why risk it? The solution is simple. When you’re triaging, just hit the “mute” button right on top of your echo and it will stop listening. You could also put your voice assistant in a different room or unplug it. 


Reminder: Dan can also help protect you and Night Nurse from computer viruses.  If you receive
a suspicious email, don't click any links or download attachments. Simply forward the email to
scam@nightnursetriage.com 
Dan will examine it and let you know if the link is safe or if it is part of a cybersecurity attack.


WHAT’S ON YOUR MIND?

We love hearing from our team members! Please reach out to us at any time to chat. We’d love to hear about your perspectives on nursing, experiences with patient and MDs and anything else you’d like to share.


We’re always here and appreciate hearing from you!


Sincerely,

Tami and Stu


Stuart Pologe, COO, stuart@nightnursetriage.com

Tami Regan, RN, CHT-CNO, tami@nightnursetriage.com

Night Nurse Inc.

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