Contessa and Nursing Innovation: Helping Nurses Commute in NYC

As part of its Comprehensive Care at Home, Contessa provides nursing staff for in-home visits to patients in various regional settings nationwide. In the New York City (NYC) market, the urban landscape creates a unique set of transportation and parking challenges for nurses. 

To overcome these challenges and create a practical solution for nurses to easily visit patients in their homes, Contessa stepped up as an innovator. The strategic approach of using the Uber Health platform as the primary transportation for nursing staff has resulted in benefits for the organization, patients and staff alike. 

The challenge: traveling for visits in an urban landscape

Nurses in NYC who perform home visits need to consider transportation variables that are unlike many of Contessa’s other markets. The most obvious is traffic, in an area notorious for long travel times and heavy traffic. 

Once a nurse arrives at their patient’s home, parking is another problem by itself. Patients living in urban environments often do not have designated parking available for their homes, meaning nurses must spend added time searching for open parking that doesn’t require permitting or payment (or the company must pay for parking). 

Sometimes this parking is not close to a patient’s home but is blocks away. This creates a couple of issues. First, the nurse must bring all necessary equipment for the patient’s visit with them from the vehicle to the home. Secondly, it may increase time spent walking alone for nurses who are concerned about personal safety. 

All of this assumes that the nurse has their own transportation in the first place. In NYC, this may not always be the case since some nurses may live in a dense urban setting themselves and rely on public transportation to get around. Because of this, these nurses may not even consider a home healthcare job. 

The solution: innovating nursing commutes

Creative solutions to unique challenges are a part of Contessa’s innovative care models. So, it’s no surprise that an unusual solution was introduced for nurses in the NYC market. To solve these transportation hurdles, both Acute Care Registered Nurses (ACRNs) and Recovery Care Coordinators (RCCs) use Uber Health’s platform as their primary transportation, through an account reimbursed by the company.  

There is no limit to the number of trips in a day; the only requirement is that they must be soley for business purposes. ACRNs can use Uber Health to visit patients, and RCCs may use it to travel between hospitals. In a typical day, this may look like: 

  • ACRNs who live within the boroughs of NYC that are within Contessa’s service area may use Uber Health to travel directly from their home to their first patient’s home. From there they will travel to their next scheduled visit, and finally at the end of the day, back home. 
  • ACRNs outside of NYC and Contessa’s designated service area for Uber Health must commute into the service area from their home, but then use the service to perform the rest of their job duties for the day. 

The outcome: improved transportation for nurses

Not only is the use of Uber Health a reduced-stress solution for nurses to travel to and from their job assignments, but it has created other benefits as well. The hassle of traffic and parking is a thing of the past for these nurses, unusual for home healthcare nurses in NYC. Additionally, use of Uber Health means: 

  • Increased safety for nurses with door-to-door transport 
  • Improved productivity and maximized use of time for nurses; instead of time lost to long commutes, time is used in a HIPAA-compliant manner to perform administrative tasks related to patient care, like charting and placing orders for equipment 
  • Patients can better count on scheduled visit times because nurse arrivals are not delayed by time lost to finding parking 
  • Use of the Uber Health platform supports tracking of transportation times for nurses, allowing oversight and supplying a clear “paper trail” of visit times 
  • Less distance to haul heavy equipment and care supplies to patients’ homes from vehicle parking (although nurses can’t keep extra supplies on hand as they would with a personal vehicle, careful organization and use of courier services helps manage the amount of supplies needed for any given trip) 

Since its inception, this solution has been well received by nursing staff and has been very successful. It is just one of the many ways that Contessa offers a unique opportunity for individuals interested in redefining patient care. Our nurses’ work directly impacts the lives of patients while pioneering a space in the health care industry. And, our low nursing turnover— at just 2%— is a reflection of how nurses prefer our models of care

To learn more about a career with Contessa today, click here