At a Glance:

Crater Community Hospice was able to:

  • Triple census in two years
  • Reduce staff turnover rate during a global caregiver shortage
  • Share real-time information, proving crucial in times of crisis
  • Have insight and oversight into each patient, ensuring better care
  • Keep staff and families aligned to respect the unique wishes of every patient
  • Enable direct access to Crater, making them a preferred provider

Quality of Care is Crucial for Growth, and it Starts with Removing Friction in the Communication Process

As an experienced executive at large for-profit hospice organizations, Zach Holt, Chief Executive Officer at Crater Community Hospice in the greater Richmond, VA area, came into a struggling non-profit to turn it around. His first priority was to create better communication within his team.

Zach’s unique leadership style and unwavering care for his team and patients has tripled their growth and secured Crater Community Hospice as a top provider in their market.

Zach knew they census and metrics are important, but were not the most crucial aspects to develop and grow a Hospice community. The catalyst for growth is quality end-of-life care — and it begins with closing the communication gap between the hospice team, referral partners, and patient families.

The inherent unpredictability, of the acuity of new patients, combined with the emotionally charged time for family members, requires a certain type of servant-leader to lead a team through growing the business. Balancing the mission and the margin, Zach knew his highly talented team of unsung heroes required a resource to give them a better, faster, easier transparency into each patient’s real-time unique needs.

Enter Serenity.

The most important goal at Crater is promoting comfort, quality of life, and patient dignity while humanizing the Hospice experience with grace.

In Crater’s hospice environment, manual, siloed communication processes and information delays were not effective, particularly during crisis situations where time is of the essence. To address this, Zach partnered with Serenity to ensure communication consistency and establish better information sharing boundaries for care teams.

“Serenity is the backbone of our community and everyday life here at Crater – helping to build, maintain, and grow our culture while creating more efficiencies. Having a tool that’s easy to use and simple to access is key. It’s always there in the background creating a synergy that keeps communication transparent and running smoothly for everyone. It helps us keep the focus where it should be — on quality end-of-life care for our patients.”

Zach Holt, CEO, Crater Community Hospice

Expediting Information Through Simplified Communication with Serenity

Crater Hospice faced challenges in communication due to an outdated messaging tool, which led to clinicians relying on time-consuming phone calls and emails for exchanging information.

A communication tool that prioritizes patient wishes and provides immediate medical advice and emotional support is crucial for the success of any hospice organization. Serenity’s HIPAA-compliant messaging platform provided a solution by enabling real-time information sharing, including requests, updates, and other pertinent information.

Serenity channels and workflow have become a huge benefit to Crater and generated significant time-saving ROI. Every patient channel is meant for their specific hospice team (Nurse Case Manager, Social Worker, Chaplain, CNA/CNA Coordinator, Bereavement Counselor, etc.)

More importantly, channels are set up purposefully, making sure language is tailored to each group. (E.g: The Clinical channel is separate from the Family channel, making sure medical terminology stays with those dealing with clinical oversight.)

During the COVID pandemic, families were experiencing caregiver burnout and were hesitant to send their loved ones to alternative care settings. To help address this issue, Crater Hospice offered respite care, which provided short-term care at home while ensuring that patients received appropriate round-the-clock symptom management. This unique offering was crucial in providing caregivers with the necessary break they needed

Next Step: Giving Families One Consistent Touchpoint

Crater’s next phase of growth will be to include more family members in the Serenity platform. Zach wants to take the pressure off those families trying to manage care, and let them go back to their most important job—being a spouse, son, or daughter.

By leveraging Serenity, Crater can give family members one source of information that is delivered instantaneously to anyone, anywhere, making sure everyone is included to communicate, ask questions, and receive updates through the Serenity app.

Families will know when the in-house doctor visits, whether there has been a behavior change, and what services are being provided. They can collaborate with the whole care team with one consistent touchpoint to save time, frustration, and anxiety. Having that insight into the extraordinary work that the Crater care team is providing will help families stay connected wherever they are.


Serenity is the only network that allows aging service providers, older adults, and their loved ones to “care together.” Our web, mobile and Alexa assistant products power the network to enable real-time, HIPAA-compliant communication, collaboration, and education. Providers and communities increase revenue and lower expenses, while families and older adults get better care and greater peace of mind.

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