The home environment often helps members open up in ways they may not in a clinician’s office. Perhaps that’s because the advanced practice clinician and the member don’t feel rushed. The advanced practice clinician has the time to encourage one-to-one conversations with members. They take the time to listen to a member’s health concerns and engage more deeply with the member. This high level of engagement and listening proved to be life changing as HouseCalls advanced practice clinician Aline helped a member who was initially resistant to a HouseCalls visit.
After canceling multiple times, a member finally agreed to a visit with Aline. Aline could see that the member, who spoke English as a second language, was highly apprehensive, so she sat with the member and talked with her about concerns. The member cried when she said that Aline wouldn’t believe her—that no one had believed her—but when she tried to sleep, it felt like someone was choking her.
The member had received a prescription medication for hallucinations. But the member felt she wasn’t hallucinating, so she wasn’t taking the medication. As the member shared her story, Aline saw a visible pulsation in the member’s neck that prompted her to perform a more detailed examination of the neck. Aline discussed the abnormal findings with the member, which validated the symptoms of the member. The member now felt she was finally heard and understood. With the member’s permission, Aline called the member’s daughter alerting her that the member needed essential follow-up. She also provided a detailed description of the situation for the daughter to give to the medical team. This helped bridge the language barrier that made the member so frustrated and fearful.
That evening, the daughter called Aline to say that the member was in surgery to have her thyroid removed. Cases like this reinforce the value of why Aline and her HouseCalls colleagues make the time to really listen to members and understand everything the members are trying to communicate. They act compassionately, yet decisively, to help the member move forward in their health plan or, — in cases like this — get the additional help they need.
As Optum HouseCalls employees, this is the kind of positive and caring experience clinicians like Aline create for every member at every home visit.
Learn more at Optum.com/housecalls
Jennifer Pryce DNP, CNE, ANP-BC, GNP-BC
Vice President, HouseCalls Clinical Field Operations, Optum