"My experience with ECS has been nothing short of refreshing. As a new Medical Director, in my first experience in long term care, I feel comforted to know that there are folks involved with clinical, professional, and legal knowledge for me to turn to when I'm unsure of myself. The clinical staff that partners with me eases my mind and I feel that this relationship between physician, nurse practitioner, and facility staff allows all of us to achieve our end goal, which is to take care of the patients as though they are our own family members."
Rebecca Baker-Palmer, MD
"I have used the Nurse Practitioners from Extended Care Specialists for nearly 10 years! I remember the days in the nursing care facility when we did not have the wonderful help of these Nurse Practitioners, and the continuity of care was not nearly as good as it is with their assistance and expertise! The leadership and management of the Extended Care Specialists company is so very hands on and always just a phone call and visit away. As a Health Facility Administrator, my experience has always been positive dealing with the owners and Nurse Practitioners themselves. They are quality people providing continuous quality care to our special folks! Regardless of the challenges we face, such as, hospital readmission rate, survey challenges, or working to find ways to reduce anti-psychotics, the Nurse Practitioners from Extended Care Specialists are always willing to assist. I don't know what I would do without the help of these wonderful people, and that is what is so good about this group ... they are people, not just a company!"
Submitted by a Fort Wayne Administrator
"I have been working with ECS for over a decade. I began a new job in a facility that was in Immediate Jeopardy and had a state appointed monitor, one of my solutions was to hire ECS. They were able to assist with clinical assessments, keeping residents in the building and to assist in training the staff. Over the years, I have seen a direct correlation from our partnership in improving resident care and outcomes."
Submitted by a Fort Wayne Administrator
"I have had the pleasure of working with Extended Care Specialists for the past year and a half. They have proven themselves to be detailed oriented, friendly, kind and knowledgeable. We couldn't ask for a better healthcare provider for our residents!
The residents rave about the professionalism and bedside manner of our Nurse Practitioner, Sharon. It's like having a doctor come to you. Who says that we can no longer receive a house call? Very often our residents don't feel up to going out to their doctor, or they can't get an appointment right away. Working with ECS has eliminated much stress for our residents; they feel confident that they will be taken care of in a timely manner."
ECS works well with families and physicians and they are always on time. They do not hesitate to send someone to see a resident when we have an issue. If Sharon is not available, they send another NP to examine the resident. They will even handle their billing. I can't say enough good things about ECS — they are wonderful!"
Rosie Rhoades, former Assisted Living Director at Georgetowne Place Retirement Community
"As a Director of Social Services in an industry-leading corporation, bureaucracy can get in the way of change, even beneficial change.
I have recently had the pleasure of working with Extended Care Specialists (ECS). ECS offers a service that my nursing home was very interested in; however, the corporation had very particular expectations. Instead of giving up, ECS modified their proposal and presented a new idea which worked for all the parties involved.
The offer was a perfect match, and we could not turn it down. With the help of ECS, we made needed changes and started new programs. ECS provided a service that resulted in excellent patient treatment and continuity of services. In one month, they reduced resident grievances from dozens to none. ECS brought in a new physician that kept up with our fast paced facility and a nurse practitioner that could actively work one-on-one with the staff, families, and demanding corporate management.
I highly recommend Extended Care Specialists for companies that are interested in providing excellent care for their patients."
Alia Osborn, MSW
"I am an Internal Medicine physician, and I am the Medical Director at 4 subacute nursing facilities. I have worked with Extended Care Specialists for the past 5 years, and I highly recommend them. They are professional, the patients and families are very happy with their care, they communicate very well with me about my patients, and give compassionate care. They do an excellent job with the staff at the facilities, and are always available to help in any way possible."
Shaya Mokfi, MD
"I have used Extended Care Specialists for Nurse Practitioner needs in Northern Indiana in multiple roles and Communities. ECS has worked diligently with our Company in the past several years to provide Nurse Practitioner services and increase their capability of what they can offer us. I know, without a doubt, that when I recommend this Company to anyone, they will not ever let me down! The entire team at ECS works with integrity and compassion — it shows through in the excellent care that their patients receive. Thanks ECS for all you do!"
Leigh Brown, RN, former Regional Nurse
"When it comes to consultant nurse practitioner groups, Extended Care Specialists, Inc, is one of the best. Their nurse practitioners are readily available to our staff no matter what day and time. ECS has high retention within their organization which makes it easy to work and communicate with them. The best benefit though is for our constituents that we serve; knowing they will receive quality care and great communication with loved ones. ECS is always willing to develop new clinical pathways, participate in Quality Improvement and focus on the patient and great outcomes."
David Mlodecki, former Regional Director of Operations Covenant Care-Indiana
"Over the last 4 years I have had the extreme pleasure to work with ECS in both the assisted living and the skilled nursing arena. The level of service I have consistently received is superior to any other organization and their team is always gracious and caring with our residents.
As we know emergencies take place often in our industry and ECS is always there to help in time of need. I can, without hesitation, recommend ECS for anyone who is looking for nurse practitioner and medical director services."
Mark Gephart, HFA
"I have had the pleasure of working alongside of many of the quality Nurse Practitioners affiliated with ECS for more than 7 years now. Over those past 7 years they have always delivered quality care! The continuity of care and level of communication between ECS and the physicians they work with is phenomenal! I would trust any of my family members with these Nurse Practitioners. When it comes to long-term care, you will not find a more qualified group of Nurse Practitioners to partner with."
Brian Adams, MD
"My name is Rebecca Baker-Palmer and I am a family medicine physician. I am board certified and a full practice where I am responsible for all manner of patients, from newborn to end-of-life, both genders, ranging from straight forward and healthy to very ill and complex. I have been a medical director for two long term care facilities for just over 3 years now, and for this same amount of time, I have worked closely with employees of Extended Care Specialists.
ECS, in short, provides the nurse practitioners that staff the two long term care facilities that I direct. What they actually do, though, goes far beyond being a staffing agency. ECS was integral in my becoming a medical director in the first place. Andy Westerfield recruited me to take the position, and he had approached me for other facilities prior to my taking the position that I did. He was, and is, incredibly helpful, always available for whatever arises, and he is a fund of knowledge.
Second, ECS does provide the nurse practitioners that care for and look after the residents in the facilities. This sounds simple enough, but the duties of these nurse practitioners are anything but simple. The NPs are truly clinical providers, examining the patients and tending to their medical needs. They go above the call by monitoring test results, organizing and maintaining medications, ordering and following routine health maintenance, as well as fielding phone calls and handling acute health issues as they arise. They sacrifice sleep, free time, and family life commitments for the best interests of the residents. They also develop meaningful relationships with those residents and their families. Each and every NP that I’ve come into contact with truly has a servant’s heart and each NP is trustworthy in relation to other clinical staff in the facility, with the family members thereof, as well as with me. This is incredibly necessary, as I try to maintain a full practice daily. I have to know that the NP seeing and caring for my residents is knowledgeable, has the capacity and diligence to practice evidence-based medicine with the most updated guidelines, and is warm and invested enough to care for the residents in the same fashion they would want their family to be cared for.
Finally, ECS handles the behind-the-scenes mandates with ease. ECS keeps track of required paperwork, regulations, and contracts, and they advocate for the residents. Their goal is to provide expert caliber clinicians that will care for the residents mentally and physically as well as being a trusted liaison between the staff and the collaborating physician, all while fostering deep and meaningful relationships with the residents and providing comprehensive, up to date evidenced-based medical care. ECS has been a pleasure to work alongside, and the residents we look after are better for it."
Rebecca Baker-Palmer, MD - Lutheran Medical Group
"I have enjoyed the pleasure of working closely with Extended Care Specialists (ECS) and, in particular, Kim Smith, Nurse Practitioner. The opportunity to engage the services of Nurse Practitioner for the care of our residents has been of exponential value. With having ECS on sight, our ability to thoroughly evaluate our residents’ condition and the increased capabilities they offer to detect and intervene on early signs of changes of conditions has significantly improved the quality of care for our residents. Also, the enhanced medical supervision offered by ECS has greatly reduced the frequency of avoidable trips to the Emergency Room and readmissions to the hospital. ECS makes great efforts to communicate and establish positive relations with the physicians providing oversight, and we have always enjoyed tremendous support from our physicians for the NP services that ECS offers. Moreover, nursing care services featuring routine NP services is of extraordinary business development value. Referring agencies, including hospital discharge planners and physicians, recognize the value of having the services of ECS to ensure the provision of excellent care and medical services.
I would be remiss if I did not recognize the particular services of the NP who serves my facility. She is very thorough in her evaluation of her patients, and demonstrates sincere compassion for her patients. She maintains good communication with our nursing staff and the families of her patients. She truly goes above and beyond the call of duty, often spending significant times with the residents and their families to fully explain her patients’ medical conditions, underlying causes, and her recommended care plan interventions and any associated risks.
Furthermore, Andy Westerfield, chief manager of ECS, is very knowledgeable regarding health care physicians and NP practices. He possessed outstanding physician networking and recruitment skills, as such, he is well connected in this industry. As a matter of fact, I recently had a need for a new Medical Director of the nursing facility on campus. He promptly referred me to several potentially interested physicians. Within a few weeks, with Andy’s help, I was able to secure two local physicians to serve in a co-medical directorship role. Andy manages his accounts very well, for example, he routinely visits his clients to ensure ECS is meeting their expectations, and he is available should a question arise.
ECS truly has an excellent business model, it sincerely is the leading nurse practitioner placement firm in Northeast Indiana. Without reservation I would recommend ECS to any nursing facility, and I am absolutely confident their services will greatly enhance resident assessments, early detection of change in conditions, and overall care and the associated impacted quality measures."
Steven A. Schaaf, V.P. Operations - Homestead, Inc.
"I have had the good fortune to work with Extended Care Specialists in two (2) different nursing facilities - Genesis Health Care of New Haven and Sage Bluff Health and Rehab of Fort Wayne. Each facility is very different from one another. Genesis is your typical long term care center with few short term patients while Sage Bluff is a very busy rehabilitation center with some long term care residents. In working closely with Extended Care Specialists I have noticed how their employees put patient care as their first priority.
In my opinion ECS has placed the right Nurse Practitioners in the correct positions. ECS has been instrumental in Sage Bluff Health and Rehab achieving the lowest average length of stay on the south side of Fort Wayne, while also reducing Sage Bluff's return to hospital rate for our skilled residents.
The ECS back office support has also been exceptional. ECS has increased the number of hours the Nurse Practitioner is in the center for direct patient care from that of our previous provider. The on-call support for after-hours has been seamless."
Tim Daugherty, Administrator
"I have worked with ECS for over 5 years and I couldn't ask for better service. Their turn around time for answering calls in expedient. They have very professional Nurse Practitioners who not only build a rapport with the Resident/Clients but also with the staff. As a Director of Nursing, I appreciated their participation in being a team member; always willing to help with quality assurance.
I have worked with at least 5 NP's from their company. and could go to any one of them or to the two ladies who started the company, and run an idea past them or tell them what my goals were and they were on board giving me direction, and assisting me in any way they could for me to accomplish them. They want the very best for the residents/clients as I do. They are there for us as much or as little as we need them to be. I would definitely recommend ECS to any Long Term Care Facility."
"Extended Care Specialists Nurse Practitioners’ have enhanced our Residents lives by promoting health and wellness through diagnosis and treatment of acute illness and chronic conditions. ECS Nurse Practitioner’s deliver expert complex decision-making skills with kindness and compassion while really connecting with our Residents on a personal level. I have 100% satisfaction rate partnering with ECS and would recommend them to anyone searching to further improve the quality of their clinical setting."
Shari Scott-Bellinger, BSN, RN, WCC - Regional Director of Clinical Services
"ECS is one of the pioneers in following the growing trend to utilize the nurse practitioner in the skilled nursing facility (SNF) to manage patients in long-term care and services as a practical resource for managing those conditions commonly encountered in the geriatric patient.
It includes an introduction to nursing homes, medication management, practical health promotion/disease prevention, and management of common clinical conditions specific to the skilled and long-term care nursing home settings.
The collaboration between the Physician and the NP is superb and very complimentary. When the Physician is not in the building, the NP will cover any acute issues and collaborate directly with the Physician.
The weekend and night coverage made it possible for such a model to be sustainable among more than 40 buildings across Indiana."
"Our company has been outsourcing our nurse practitioner coverage to ECS for the past 3 years and wouldn’t consider changing that arrangement. That transformational decision to partner with ECS has single handedly allowed our business to grow and become one of the dominant providers in the Indianapolis post-acute and long-term care providers. They are responsive to changes, anticipate problems, and immediately respond to the inevitable problems that arise in this highly regulated environment. I would highly recommend this company to any other provider, groups, or hospital systems who want a dependable quality provider."
Kevin Neese, MD, MBA