About Empath Health
Since 1977, Empath Health has provided medical expertise as well as emotional and spiritual support to Pinellas County residents. As a nonprofit, integrated network of care, Empath helps anyone facing chronic or advanced illness live as comfortably and meaningfully as possible. Each year, a staff of 1,300 works around the clock to provide compassionate care for tens of thousands of patients, families and caregivers—with an ultimate mission of becoming a leader in life-changing healthcare.
As healthcare costs continue to rise, insurance requirements expand and HIPAA compliance and privacy regulations have also become more stringent. For these reasons, it’s increasingly challenging for healthcare institutions to provide affordable, high-quality patient care.
A secure network infrastructure plays an integral part in delivering that reliable, cost-effective care—but IT is not the core mission of any healthcare organization. “Our team members don’t really care about technology. They care about our patients,” explains Lynne Craver, Empath Health’s Vice President of Care Navigation & IT.
In addition, being a primarily mobile workforce, Empath’s staff faced significant challenges accessing critical medical records from patient bedsides and electronically documenting visits. According to Craver, team members were losing confidence due to daily network failures. “They need to come to work every day and know that their technology is going to operate the way it was designed,” she stresses.
After a quick assessment, Empath determined its internal team didn’t have the breadth and depth to deliver the complex IT environment a healthcare and hospice organization requires. Seeking a technology partner with unparalleled healthcare expertise, Empath reached out to Vology.
To initiate the project, Vology technical experts worked closely with Empath’s staff to gain a complete understanding of the organization’s aspirations and budget as a not-for-profit agency. After discovering the network was unstable, Vology designed and deployed a new IT infrastructure aligned with Empath’s objectives.
First, Vology worked to replace outdated servers, laptops and other antiquated equipment, implementing new technologies from Cisco, HP and more. Next, Vology assumed IT administration via Workstation Management and 24/7/365 Help Desk services. Five Vology employees were placed on-site at Empath while two fully dedicated Service Desk staff members worked off-site from Vology’s Network Operations Center.
“When issues arise that require even higher levels of expertise, we know Vology has dedicated team members readily available to help us,” says Craver.
Vology continually evaluates Empath’s infrastructure and recommends upgrades to ensure the organization is always working in a solid, reliable environment.
From replacing outdated equipment to IT administration through disaster recovery, Vology now manages and operates every aspect of Empath’s IT. With a stable new infrastructure in place, Empath team members can confidently provide the best care possible. Whether working from homes or hospitals, staff members can access critical files, update necessary forms and ensure HIPAA compliance every step of the way.
“There’s a lot more to Vology than just meeting our business needs. Their understanding of our mission and their responsiveness when we do have issues clearly reflects their understanding of the role that they play side by side with us,” says Craver.
Additionally, Vology’s partnership with Empath extends far beyond IT. Craver elaborates, “Vology has embraced us to the point where their employees volunteer at some of our events. They’re really working with us to increase their integration into our family of programs, and our delivery of care services.”