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HME News in 10: Roxanne Venard on lessons from the trenches 

HME News in 10: Roxanne Venard on lessons from the trenches 

HME News in 10YARMOUTH, Maine – From the COVID-19 pandemic to supply chain challenges, through two recalls and now the exit of a leading manufacturer in the home ventilator market, Roxanne Venard has been in the trenches running a business and taking care of patients.  

“We had new products that we had to try to check out, and then the frustration of not being able to get devices and supplies,” said Venard, a registered respiratory therapist and president of Ascent Respiratory Care in Colorado. “And you had to develop quick strategies of conservation of supplies, and teaching caregivers how to do things differently. It was really concerning.” 

Venard joined the HME News in 10 podcast to share lessons learned about adapting through upheaval. 

Put your best foot forward 

Almost immediately after the CPAP and ventilator recall, Venard found herself feeling caught in the middle, as she tried to understand what was going on while patients clamored for information. 

“We really needed to make sure that the patients knew that they could depend on us to conduct ourselves in a manner in which there would be appropriate care for them,” she said. “Also, we had to make sure we were informing them in a timely manner and using equipment and supplies that maybe they weren’t familiar with but that we had vetted.”  

Diversify your portfolio 

Ascent Respiratory carries a diverse line of equipment options – something Venard says fellow providers need to embrace.  

“We as an industry, we (shouldn’t) try to be brand-specific all the time,” she said. “That has put us in a really bad place and still might be of concern.” 

Case in point: When Philips announced it was recalling several popular ventilator models in 2022, Venard found herself in the position of reassuring referral sources that she could offer alternatives. 

“They would almost be in a panic because they were losing the ability to use some of these devices,” she said.  “We had to give them other options and do a lot of training with them. We actually designed our own crosswalk for the devices that we use and were able to give that to them and say, ‘OK, I know you’re using this product, this is how we can manage your patient’s care.’” 

Prioritize your information flow 

If there’s one takeaway from the upheaval of the past few years Venard would like manufacturers to heed, it’s the importance of communication. She hadn’t yet heard about the CPAP and ventilator recall until a patient texted her after seeing it online. 

“Tell your customers first – your hospitals and your HMEs – before it goes public,” she said. “And then communicate precisely what are the next steps patients should take because we are getting calls from all over the country asking us questions and we didn’t even supply those patients.” 


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