Just because a patient has an established, complex medical history, it doesn’t mean new symptoms have anything to do with their known illnesses.
To put it bluntly — patients who have several comorbidities can still get sick with new ones.
Maddy, a Signallamp Health remote nurse case manager, found that to be true when her patient, Doris, confided in her about an ongoing, mysterious issue.
Doris is in remission from cancer and has a complex medical history, so when she told Maddy about some troubling symptoms — ones that her doctors believed came from her cancer remission — the nurse knew that she couldn’t just let it slide.
The subsequent events show just how a consistent, effective chronic care management program can diagnose symptoms that may be disguised behind a seemingly related disease. To protect their privacy, patients in this story use different names, but the facts are all true.
Over the last four to five years, Doris had experienced sporadic but crippling nausea and vomiting. Her doctors had chalked it up to ongoing side effects of her cancer treatment. But that wasn’t enough for Maddy, who used their telephone check-ins each month to get to the bottom of Doris’ symptoms.
Patient engagement and meaningful data through chronic care management
Signallamp’s chronic care management model naturally adds an expanded investigative component to patients’ care plans. When remote nurse case managers make discoveries, they can feed relevant and timely information to physicians instantly using their electronic medical record. Their attention frees up providers to do what they do best.
Physicians can prescribe the most appropriate therapies when they have precision data, presented logically, in a way that empowers treatment decisions.
Precise data comes from established and trusting relationships between remote nurse case managers and their patients.
That part can’t be overstated. Signallamp nurses are uniquely positioned to get to the bottom of mysterious or troubling symptoms because they engage with their patients at least once a month. There’s simply no other substitute for that kind of patient engagement, and Maddy and Doris show us why:
During one of their regular telephone check-ins, Doris mentioned she never had a gallbladder scan. That caught Maddy’s attention.
The nurse immediately followed up with Doris’ provider and recommended a scan. At first, Doris’ doctor seemed reluctant to order the diagnostic test, but eventually agreed.
And good thing he did.
The test had revealed blocked bile ducts in her gallbladder. Doris had gallstones, which has nothing to do with her current medical profile but was ultimately responsible for her debilitating nausea. Following the scan, Doris’ doctor immediately recommended that she have her gallbladder removed. These days, that’s an increasingly common procedure.
Patient engagement naturally leads to better patient satisfaction
And to think, Doris’ symptoms were misappropriated to post-cancer treatment nausea.
“After all these years of signs and symptoms … and having it be chalked up to her cancer radiation, it came down to her gallbladder,” Maddy said. “We’re pretty excited to get that taken care of because hopefully all of her symptoms will subside once she gets this surgery done.”
Now Doris is on her way to a nausea-free life thanks to Maddy’s relentless pursuit of patient wellness.
As health care evolves, provider groups and health systems see the tremendous value of team-based care delivery. It maximizes each health professional’s strengths and gives them more room to be the best they can be.
However, not all providers have the same ability to build out a chronic care management program to any meaningful scale. At Signallamp Health, that’s all we do. Our nurse case managers integrate with provider electronic medical records adding unmistakable value for chronic disease populations and giving clinical providers the extra room they need to be at their best.
When doctors and nurses are at their best, that means patients thrive. They report a better quality of life and greater satisfaction with their care.
Is your practice looking for new ways to give your patients agency through an effective Chronic Care Management model? Schedule a conversation with us today to find out how Signallamp Health can deliver life-changing care to your patients.