Category Archives: COVID-19

Nurses’ quick actions ease patient concerns

Routine medical care became anything but when the COVID-19 crisis caused closures and cancelations. The changes went into effect so quickly, people were left with questions and concerns. Since then, nurses, clinicians, counselors and other health care workers have been fielding calls from patients and members. They’ve found ways to make life a little better […]
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Using technology to strengthen health care’s front door

A triage reboot: Using technology to strengthen health care’s front door Grouping patients by severity of symptoms — also known as triaging — is not a new concept. Its early uses can be traced back to the late 1700s. Since its beginnings in battlefield medicine, triaging has become a key component of modern-day health care. […]
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Protecting the drug supply

David Calabrese, Senior Vice President and Chief Pharmacy Officer, OptumRx No one should ever have to worry about access to prescription medication, especially not during a global pandemic. That’s what David Calabrese, senior vice president and chief pharmacy officer at OptumRx, and his entire team think. So, they have been working to ensure all members […]
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“These are our friends and neighbors” — States serving the community during COVID-19

Brian Cunningham, Account Manager, Optum COVID-19 triggered a race against time. As the health emergency unfolded, it threatened economic and food security across populations already struggling. Without quick decisive intervention by state governments, many families would see their situation go from bad to worse, losing jobs and income while still managing bills, health care costs […]
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Note to boss: I get more done if I feel supported

When the survey results came back, one statistic stood out. Productivity was down across the board. Blame it on barking dogs, distance learning, crowded houses or plain old cabin fever. For more than 40% of the respondents, working during the COVID-19 pandemic was admittedly less productive. But when researchers studied the numbers more closely, they […]
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Nurses’ resilience: When final goodbyes are part of your job

For nurses and clinicians who care for the oldest among us, final goodbyes are part of the job. It’s never easy. Right now, due to COVID-19, it’s particularly tough, especially when you’re caring for vulnerable seniors in nursing homes. “You can’t imagine what it’s like to do this job until you’ve done it,” says Traci […]
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Surpassing expectations for a distraught caller: “I knew I needed to do more”

Javier Guzman, an on-site employee assistance program (EAP) consultant, remembers how depressed Daniel* was when he came in for his first session. Between caring for his elderly father and managing his own health issues, he felt overwhelmed … and that was before he was laid off due to COVID-19 closures. Guzman worried about his patient. […]
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Team converts a flu early warning system to track COVID-19

Every now and then, a problem surfaces that some person or group is uniquely suited to solve. They are prepared. They have the expertise. They have the equipment. That’s what it was like for the Optum Flu Forecast team when COVID-19 hit. Almost immediately there was demand for a COVID-19 version of the Flu Forecast, […]
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Counselor offers reassurance: “What you’re feeling is normal”

Maybe it’s happened to you since the COVID-19 pandemic began. It’s late at night, your mind is racing, and you just want someone to talk to. In these moments you can pick up the phone and call for help. Some people may have access to an employee assistance program (EAP) line through their employer. For […]
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“Whatever you need, just let me know” — Nurses go the extra mile

Possibly as much as any event in history, COVID-19 is demonstrating the need for nurses. These inspiring men and women are on the front lines of the pandemic, facing the emotional toll of caring for sick patients and in many cases separating themselves from family and friends to reduce the risk of infection. To kick […]
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