It’s humbling to think how a HouseCalls visit can make a big difference in a member’s health. It requires significant training and a practiced eye to evaluate a situation so that you can understand what may be really happening. In this example, our clinician Kelly’s thoughtful, highly responsive action helped mitigate what could have been a negative outcome for this member and his family.
Kelly realized that she needed to alert the member’s daughter and doctor that something was amiss with him. When that wasn’t possible, she knew she had to try another route to coordinate the appropriate care. We support our Optum HouseCalls advanced practice clinicians to assess each situation and follow through until it is resolved: whether that is reaching a family member or the patient’s provider.
As HouseCalls advanced practice clinician Kelly knows, thoughtful persistence pays off and can even save lives. When Kelly had tried to reach a member the night before his appointment, she only could get a busy signal. Then, when she went to his home for the appointment, there was no answer at the door. She was turning to leave when she caught a glimpse of the blinds moving. That prompted her to knock harder and suddenly the door opened.
The member welcomed Kelly into his home but was not able to answer simple questions and was highly confused. He couldn’t remember his daughter’s phone number and couldn’t find his phone. Recognizing the member couldn’t stay alone in his condition, Kelly called the member’s provider to get the daughter’s number. However, no current information was available. Unable to reach a family member to alert them to the member’s state, Kelly called for an ambulance.
As it turned out, the member was hospitalized for sepsis and has since recovered fully. The member shared this information when he reached out to HouseCalls to thank Kelly for taking action to get him the critical care he needed.
Kelly acknowledges that her visits typically don’t necessitate calling 911. But often they do require persistence to win each member’s trust so that she can effectively assess risks and help close gaps in care.
As Optum HouseCalls employees, this is the kind of positive and caring experience clinicians like Kelly create for every member at every home visit.
Learn more at Optum.com/housecalls
About the Author
Jennifer Pryce DNP, CNE, ANP-BC, GNP-BC
Vice President, HouseCalls Clinical Field Operations, Optum