When we catch an urgent problem – which happens more often than we wish – we provide immediate health outreach . Within 24-48 hours of the blood draw, Interactive Health’s team of registered nurses and nurse practitioners place an immediate and caring call to these members to connect them to care. Christine Walas, RN, BSN, a member of this immediate intervention team shares how she went the extra mile to help an older member with no local family support, personal vehicle or internet access, connect with her doctor to address her critical needs.
As an immediate intervention nurse; we help our members understand the importance of connecting to care quickly when they have critical and sometimes life-threatening values. Under normal circumstances; connecting to care is not difficult but for some, this can be extremely challenging.
I called an older member with critical level lab results and this member was unaware of any health risks. She did have a doctor but no access to our website to request permission to send her lab results. With her permission, I sent the results to the doctor and encouraged the member to call the doctor right away to discuss the results. The member agreed to the plan and a follow up call from me.
When we spoke next, the member had not made the appointment to see the doctor. Through active listening, I discovered that the member had no personal vehicle, no family, friend, or neighbor to drive her or access to public transportation to the doctor’s office. Surprisingly, this is not unusual. More than 3.5 million Americans stay at home on a given day because they lack access to transportation.
When members face roadblocks, I am determined to help and say “Don’t give up! We will figure this out together.” This member did not live in an area I was familiar with, so I used her zip code to research services online that might be available to her. I found a service through a local hospital that provided low cost non-emergency medical rides to disabled, isolated, and low-income individuals in the community.
I called the member back and provided her with the phone number for the transportation service. When I spoke with her a few weeks later, the member had seen the doctor and was referred to a specialist. The transportation service had taken the member to the appointment and was also going to drive the member to the specialist appointment. She was in tears and relayed her gratitude for helping her overcome barriers to getting the care she needed.
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