Onsite Staff Agree: Coordinated Care is Good Medicine

For most families, the benefits of Consultative Health and Medicine’s Coordinated Care Model are obvious.

“All we have to do is explain that you won’t have to come and pick up your mother and take her to the doctor when it is 20 degrees below and the wind is blowing and people get it,” says Sherri Newman, health care coordinator for a senior living community in a western suburb of the Twin Cities. “It’s a huge advantage for our residents and their families not to have to go out…. It’s a win-win situation for our residents, their families and those of us who are serving them.”

“From my perspective, one of the nicest things about having Consultative Health and Medicine is the continuity of care and the ability for our nurses to reach the nurse practitioners any time of day or night,” says Dee Johnson, a licensed professional nurse for 42 years who works at a 56-bed memory care community in the south metro. “From the family’s perspective, I think they are very comforted knowing that the nurse practitioner and Dr. [Chris] Johnson are there for them at any time of day.”

Licensed social worker Christine Gagnon adds that having physicians and nurses visit residents right at home fosters a more collaborative environment between those who are involved with each patient and ensures the best possible medical care.

“If a weekend is coming or they have a day off, or if there is a particular resident they are worried about, they’ll leave a message with the on-call nurse saying, ‘This is our care plan for this person, and these are the goals the family has,’” says Gagnon. “It’s almost like they are one of the staff members here.”

Coordinated Care ultimately makes it easier for patients and their families and speeds the delivery of care, says Consultative Health and Medicine Certified Nurse Practitioner Becky Ahlstrom. She recalls working with facility staff to arrange a resident’s participation in a clinical study.

“We needed to arrange special delivery times for his medication. Without Coordinated Care, his wife would have had to make all the arrangements with various health providers herself. In all the back and forth, it would have been easy for things to get lost in translation,” recalls Ahlstrom. “Instead, she called me and I was able to write the order in person and explain to the staff what needs to happen. This way, it was one call for her to make and it was done.”

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