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How VITAS Healthcare Streams the Impact of Hospice

VITAS Healthcare is the largest single-source provider of end-of-life care in the U.S., with over 10,000 professionals caring for more than 19,000 patients daily. Their mission is to preserve the quality of life for those who have a limited time to live by delivering the highest quality hospice and palliative care services.

VITAS uses streaming video to advise their patients, train their employees, and to create that all-important human connection. Healthcare is about connection—the human touch—and this hospice provider has found that the right story delivered through video can bring you even closer.

Reminding Recruits About the Mission of Hospice

For a company like VITAS, recruitment is more than just filling open positions. Recruiting means educating, inspiring, and reminding medical professionals why they entered the field in the first place.

“Lots of people who go into healthcare, they go in for the excitement of it,” says Ron Sas, Senior Creative Director at VITAS. “But as they go through school and understand what hospice is, they always say, ‘This is somewhere where I’d like to be at some point in my career, just not now.’”

This makes it crucial for VITAS to add an authentic human element to their videos. “We’re able to tell very passionate stories of our healthcare professionals working with patients, working with families, working with each other, and working through that team that VITAS supports in that environment.”

Videos produced by VITAS showcase the contrast between working in hospice and other areas of the healthcare industry. For example, hospital RNs may see more than 20 patients a day for 10–15 minutes at a time. But a VITAS RN can spend over an hour of more meaningful time with each of the five patients they attend to daily. These types of videos paint a vivid picture of how VITAS employees fulfill more of that passion that got them into healthcare to begin with.

“If we are able to tell that story correctly, that affects not only professionals, it helps tell that story to everybody that comes across it—to really understand what hospice is.”

Educating Referrals About the Meaning of Hospice

Healthcare community referrals are a key part of VITAS’s business. However, they’re often faced with common misconceptions surrounding hospice care from physician practices, hospital groups, and other organizations. Through video, they can tell the true story of end-of-life care, that it’s never about giving up on a patient. It’s refocusing care that aligns with patients’ goals and wishes. It’s a quality-of-life benefit.

An intriguing approach that VITAS uses is a human-centric perspective. Whether patient, family, or a healthcare professional, they see everyone as sympathetic individuals looking out for the best interest of their loved ones. Each video starts with one simple question: “How would a human look at this?" This helps the videos be much more relatable and resonant as they uncover exactly what it is the viewer would identify with.

Inspiring the Public With the Power of Hospice

Each year, the video team at VITAS is able to collectively pick a cause that is deeply personal and important for them to work on. These “passion projects” help better serve their communities while also allowing employees to give back in ways that truly make a difference.

In 2022, they focused their passion project specifically on Vietnam veterans, though veterans in general have always been a uniquely special community for VITAS. In fact, they have a saying that “Every Day Is Veterans Day,” which serves as a reflection of their unwavering commitment to veteran care.

Given VITAS’s passion for veterans and their position as an industry leader, this project brought a sense of responsibility. The public needed more education about known challenges like PTSD and Agent Orange exposure, as well as often overlooked issues like moral injury.

The resulting video captured the essence of their mission while serving as an educational tool and spreading awareness about the challenges faced by today’s oldest veteran population. They’ve leveraged it in a number of ways, including social media snippets driving viewers to their website to learn more about their care and commitment to veterans.

Empowering Teams With Videos About Hospice

To make their content available to various teams and employees, VITAS relies on Brightcove’s award-winning streaming technology. “Brightcove gives us a lot of control,” notes Sas. “In the past, we didn’t have control of our videos or what our teams and staff were doing.”

Through Brightcove Gallery with SSO (single sign-on) enabled, VITAS employees are able to easily log in, find the videos they need, and even request them for presentations. More importantly, they can do this no matter where they are. Whether in patients’ homes, hospitals, nursing homes, senior living communities, or a VITAS inpatient hospice unit, they can access the content and share it using their phones or tablets.

Hospice is a community where maintaining the human connection is at the heart of the service provided. Empowering teams with video is helping VITAS make those connections wherever they’re needed. “We want to make sure our staff are being productive. With Brightcove, we’re able to do that.”

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