Becker's 12th Annual Meeting Speaker Series: 3 Questions with Mag VanOosten, RN, President and Chief Clinical Officer, UnityPoint at Home

Mag VanOosten, RN, serves as President and Chief Clinical Officer at UnityPoint at Home. 

Mag will serve on the panel "Balancing Diverse Clinical Teams for Better Patient Outcomes" at Becker's Hospital Review 12th Annual Meeting. As part of an ongoing series, Becker's is talking to healthcare leaders who plan to speak at the conference, which will take place in Chicago from April 25-28, 2022. 

To learn more about the conference and Mag's sessions, click here.

Q: What are your top priorities for 2022?

Mag VanOosten: My main priorities for 2022 are focused on staffing and growth of UnityPoint at Home, the home care division of UnityPoint Health. The current reality is we have more open positions than nurses graduating from nursing school. This year we will be laser focused on deploying new, innovative ways to attract and retain staff, continue growing our UnityPoint at Home Nurse Residency Program and building on our culture that supports creating an easier, more personal work experience

We also plan to expand our UnityPoint Health Care at Home strategies to other regions. Our Care at Home services are integrated with our system’s Ambulatory Division, allowing us to provide better care and experience for patients and greater continuity of care across the continuum. The CMS Acute Hospital Care at Home Waiver has really helped our program gain traction the past few years, adding SNF at Home and Palliative at Home programs. Our goal is to provide these programs to more of our communities to keep our patients at home or get them home sooner.

Q: How do you plan to pivot strategies this year to better serve patients?

MV: The challenges of the workforce shortage are impacting hospitals and health systems throughout the country and the field of nursing in particular faces a real crisis when it comes to filling critical roles with qualified candidates. In our home health division, we are already anticipating struggles due to lack of staff so are developing ways to do more with less but not by spreading our staff thinner but further. We are evaluating different staffing models, looking at how we introduce advanced practice nurses into the home care field and assessing how to better engage other people in the patient’s care to alleviate some of the workload of our registered nurses. The UnityPoint at Home program not only cares for a patient’s health care needs but also evaluates their living condition, determines what support they will need to stay at home and trains family members/friends to care for their loved one. We must encourage other people who are involved in patient care and outreach (therapists, social workers, chaplains, etc.) to look at their jobs differently, take on additional roles, and be the eyes and ears for our nurses to help ease the responsibility so they can focus on nursing.

Q: What technologies and innovations are you most excited about in healthcare right now?

MV: Remote patient monitoring and other health care surveillance tools are incredibly exciting and success depends on adoption and utilization. These technologies can really change how care is delivered so we are focused on educating our nursing staff on the advantages so they will be open to these different staffing structures and innovative technologies. Also, UnityPoint at Home Home Health and Hospice will integrate onto the EPIC platform this year which will provide our clinical teams with invaluable analytics and insight. For example, the data captured in the patient’s home could flag social determinants of health that we could use to determine if a patient is at risk to miss an office visit or at risk of being hospitalized. By consolidating our patient data in one place we expect to see enhanced communication between UnityPoint Health providers and our at home team for a better transition of care for our patients.

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