SignUpGenius Helps One Man Ensure that Others Don’t Die Alone

Hospital ministry sign upsMark Garascia loves his volunteer work as a dispatcher for the ministry of "No One Dies Alone." Because he is willing to coordinate volunteers to sit at the bedsides of dying patients at a local hospital, he knows that fewer people in his community will spend their last hours alone.

"Personally, I had a grandmother who died in her mid-90s who outlived her children. She had two grandchildren, but she was in an alzheimer's institution about 30 minutes away. She could have died alone." Thankfully Mark and his brother were able to make sure that didn't happen, but the experience impacted him enough that when his local parish presented the option of starting a "No One Dies Alone" ministry, he stepped up to the challenge.

Two years later, Mark had 30 volunteers to coordinate every time he received a call from the hospital that a patient was in need of their care. "It was a lot of work. It took me a few hours to call volunteers and arrange a schedule for volunteer support for each patient. I spent a lot of time playing phone tag."

Then one day, Mark heard from a volunteer that there was this great site that would make it simpler to organize signups like theirs. Thanks to that volunteer and, Marks job as a dispatcher was about to get a whole lot easier. Mark went through the tutorials on the site and realized how much simpler his position could be by using the volunteer sign ups available on the site.

But there were still the hospital and volunteers to convince. Hospitals are restricted by the HIPPA Privacy Rule to a strict standard of patient confidentiality. The hospital staff wanted to check out the site to make sure its use wouldn't violate that confidentiality. When the staff saw the privacy policy of SignUpGenius and realized that there are multiple security options to ensure the privacy of patients, they were happy to give their approval. And the volunteers themselves found the site easy to use. "That says a lot because many of the people we have volunteering are retirees and not very computer savvy. The ease of its use helps a lot," explains Mark. He adds, "Now it takes less than five minutes to set up a sign up, and is enabling the program to progress."

Beyond the time it saves Mark to coordinate volunteers and the ease of using the site for his volunteers, he appreciates the ability to modify the sign ups at anytime and notify the volunteers instantly. When a patient dies, he can notify all of the volunteers who were signed up with the news via an automatically generated email. He can also archive the sign up, so the ministry can keep a record of every patient they have served.

Mark now coordinates 65 volunteers and tells others who are considering becoming a dispatcher and starting a "No One Dies Alone" ministry in their area that they need to check out SignUpGenius. "I tell everybody about it when I see anyone doing a sign up," he says. "Everybody involved in the No One Dies Alone Program is a volunteer and making it efficient for them is critical. The site being so simple for new volunteers is great."

That's our goal at SignUpGenius, to provide you with a tool that makes coordinating sign ups simpler, so you can get on with the important things in life. It's genius!