Case Study: Alive Hospice

Case Study: Alive Hospice

Organization Background

Alive Hospice is a nonprofit organization that provides compassionate care and support for terminally ill patients and their families, grief support for adults and children, and education about the end of life. Alive Hospice was founded in 1975, making it the first hospice program in Tennessee and the Southeast, and the first in the nation to provide hospice care in private homes. Alive Hospice is accredited by the Joint Commission and is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. For more information, call 615-327-1085 or visit


With 365 volunteers to recruit , screen, evaluate and onboard, Alive Hospice volunteer management is time consuming and complicated. And yet, it’s vital for funding due to a Medicare mandate that they utilize volunteers to provide direct patient care equivalent to at least 5% of the direct patient care time provided by paid staff.

The volunteer management team must balance ongoing screening and onboarding of new volunteers with the evaluation and recognition of all existing volunteers, which requires a great deal of work and time. In addition, efficiency, accuracy and reporting are vital to ensure compliance, continued accreditation by Joint Commission and funding from Medicare.


Sterling Volunteers was engaged as a resource for the streamlined screening service Alive Hospice needed. Leveraging their online technology, volunteer managers easily and quickly dispatch screening invitation emails to current and prospective volunteers. The Sterling Volunteers platform provides the screening results all in one place, shortening the onboarding process and providing valuable reporting capabilities needed for accrediting bodies.


Alive Hospice realized a more than 50% reduction in onboarding time, thanks to their ability to quickly run required reports. Previously, reports could take 10+ days to create versus 5 days today – and they’re available in a single dashboard. The volunteer management team at Alive Hospice now reviews and tracks the status of all people in all stages of the screening and onboarding process and is able to spend more time on recruitment efforts.

Key Highlights

A large number of volunteers, reporting obligations and volunteer management requirements created significant resource challenges for Alive Hospice. The Sterling Volunteers platform enabled quicker, more cost effective screening as well as greater efficiency onboarding the most qualified volunteers. Significant cost savings were achieved by eliminating unnecessary screenings and leveraging reports shared by pre-screened volunteers. Improved reporting capabilities enable continued accreditation by the Joint Commission – key to Alive Hospice’s livelihood. All of these improvements enable Alive Hospice to deliver an enhanced patient experience via qualified volunteer support for all those in need.

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