Roxanne Venard has been a respiratory therapist for more than 30 years. She started her own home medical equipment company, Ascent Respiratory Care, in 2010 to make a difference in the lives of people who take their ventilation needs home. Breas met with Roxanne to learn more about her business and what drives her success.
“We just don’t say it. We live it. We do it.”
Roxanne explains, “I always thought I could do it better. When I had the opportunity, after working in multiple facets of respiratory care, I still wanted to make that difference in the lives of people that really needed that support to be able to live at home. Over the last 10 years, we’ve had 600 ventilated patients.”
Roxanne spoke about her team at Ascent Respiratory Care, “We have a great team here at Ascent. Everybody is dedicated to our patient base and their caregivers because we understand how important it is to have that link to professionals that understand what they’re going through and can be compassionate and caring with them. We have eight respiratory therapists with one available 24 hours a day. When someone calls us, they can leave a message, or they can talk to a respiratory therapist. The moment they pick option two for a respiratory therapist, it rings right through to our on-call therapist. So, they don’t have to talk to a driver or a customer service person; they’re directed straight to a respiratory therapist.”
She further explained why she chose “Committed to quality of care. You can count on us.” to describe Ascent Respiratory Care. She wants to “Make that promise to the patients and the caregivers. If you are willing to go out on a limb and go home where you really want to be, which is kind of a scary place when you rely on a medical device to support your life, you need a team behind you and to be there for you. And so that’s what we do and that’s what I want them to know, that we are there for them. They can depend on us. We just don’t say it. We live it. We do it.”
“Ventilators have different capabilities and limitations, therefore you’re going to run across patients that go home with different needs.”
Like everyone in the respiratory care industry, Roxanne continues to face many challenges brought on by COVID and the Philip’s Medical device recall. As she puts it, “many challenges that have just really been heightened in the last 18 months, including COVID, general changes in the industry, devices that have been on recall, and declining reimbursement rates for the products that we need to support our patients. Technology adoption has been a major part in our response to those challenges, we initiated telemedicine and have been using more devices that allow us to monitor patients through the cloud.
Also dependability of the supply chain has been a challenge. To properly serve our patients we need supplies in a timely manner; between the recalls and the stress that has been placed on the manufacturers, and the general delay in global supply chains we’re looking at lead times that are much longer than we ever had to have for devices
in the past.”
Why She Uses Breas Ventilators
Roxanne Venard started to use Breas’s ventilators, specifically the Vivo 50, around 2017. As she explains, “ventilators have different capabilities and limitations, therefore you’re going to run across patients that go home with different needs.” When she was first introduced to the Vivo 50, she “was thoroughly impressed with its leak compensation and it was more like a PRVC, because its responsiveness to the patient was almost a breath to breath.” She further explained, “we would see a big leak, and in one breath it (the Vivo 50) would make its correction and then by the second or third breath, however you want to look at it, it was already ventilating the patient appropriately and was not still trying to work at hitting the target. We also had patients that needed volume ventilation, because their physician preferred that, and with the technology of some of the ventilators that were out there at the time that I was using, their capability for volume ventilation was not very good. They were more a pressure kind of driven ventilator. But Vivo could do them both and do it very well.”
Real Life Examples
Roxanne has seen first-hand the difference that Vivo ventilators can make in patients’ lives. One adult patient was using a Jackson trach, a metal tracheostomy tube without a cuff, because he liked that he could speak around the cuff, especially at night. As Roxanne explains, “the tracheostomy tube that was big enough that they could speak around it, but small enough not to create too big of a leak.” The Vivo 50’s eSync leak independent technology avoids uncomfortable asynchrony issues that can occur with leaky tracheostomies. “It worked very well for the patient. It still does. And they feel confident, especially at night, that if they needed someone, they could actually vocalize and let them know that they need some help.”
Another example concerns a pediatric patient. “A patient that was originally on a well-known competitor’s ventilator and went to the hospital for about a week with unrelated respiratory needs. They put him on a ventilator that they use in the hospital ICU, just because that was their protocol. When they tried to transition the child back to the competitor’s ventilator, they could not. The child could not tolerate it — their sat levels would go down, CO2 levels and heart rate would go up, and they were constantly auto-triggering. You name it, it was happening. So I went in and tried to do some manipulation with the competitor’s ventilator. I couldn’t get it to stabilize, basically, and so I recommended that we try this other ventilator, which was a Vivo 50 (The Vivo 65 hadn’t come out yet). The child was big enough to go onto the Vivo 50 and I was able to transition them onto the Vivo within about 30 minutes.”
Roxanne reiterates what she sees as the Vivo difference. “The leak and the triggering sensitivity are independent of one another, so it makes it much easier for the patient to avoid that cycle where they start to auto-trigger the ventilator.” In other words, “it allows for the patient to synchronize the ventilator with the patient rather than the patient having to synchronize with the ventilator.”
Breas is proud to be a partner with Ascent Respiratory Care in their effort to provide better ventilation in the home and make a difference in the lives of their patients.
“The leak and the triggering sensitivity are independent of one another, so it makes it much easier for the patient to avoid that cycle where they start to auto-trigger the ventilator.”