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Accordant Nurses Help Answer Pandemic, Condition Management Questions
As the coronavirus pandemic and the situation on the ground evolves, our understanding of it, and medical advice about COVID-19 is changing rapidly. For instance, it was only recently that an analysis from New York indicated that the common comorbidities posing a risk for COVID-19 may be hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, dementia and atrial fibrillation. Of course any information available at this time is limited, preliminary, and above all evolving. This can be extremely stressful for those managing existing illnesses and particularly so for patients who have complex, chronic conditions. Given the risk of COVID-19, those who are immune compromised — as is the case for autoimmune conditions, cancer, and a range of other illnesses — may be particularly concerned.
Our clients’ plan members need the help and support of our specially trained Accordant nurses, now more than ever.
Like everyone else, members have questions; about staying adherent, managing symptoms and comorbidities, staying healthy, accessing the medications and care they need, when to seek in-person care from a provider, and perhaps above all, minimizing their risk of contracting COVID-19. And they are reaching out to their nurse-led care teams with those questions.
Since March 11, the number of incoming member calls has increased. Nearly 35 percent of members actively raised COVID-19 concerns, and more than 55 percent of all conversations included five to 10 minutes of discussion related to the pandemic.*
In addition, according to a recent survey, nearly 50 percent of members needed help with a follow-up to a doctor plan, while more than 25 percent needed help with a follow-up on a medication plan or a stay-at-home plan.**
Helping our Nurses Help Members
Making sure that our nurses can best support and members’ needs is critically important to us, especially during the pandemic. With the constant stream of evolving — sometimes contradictory — information coming through about the pandemic, it can be challenging for anyone to keep up-to-date on all the developments and assimilate all the information on an ongoing basis.
Since the beginning of the outbreak, in addition to sharing tips and information directly with patients, we have also boosted ways in which our nurse teams can obtain information quickly and easily so that they can be there to meet member’s needs.
To do this, along with regular meetings in which colleagues can discuss the topics they have questions about, I now record a podcast several times a week which highlights the latest developments and updates, and shares important information with our nurse colleagues in a friendly and consumable way.
The podcasts cover a range of topics including the pandemic, as well as other condition management questions that nurses may be receiving. The podcast concept itself was borne of a friendly internal competition to generate ideas about ways to help our nurses better service our clients and improve care for plan members.
We have also made it possible for members to connect with their care teams digitally and get the support they need while we are all practicing social distancing and following stay-at-home orders. They can send questions or chat with their care teams through secure messaging.
• Nearly 50% needed help with a follow up with a doctor plan
• More than 25% needed help with a follow up on medication plan
• 25% needed help with a stay at home plan
• More than 55%* of those conversations included 5-10 minutesdedicated to discussing Covid-19 concerns.
• Nearly 35%** of total conversations, members actively brought upCovid-19 concerns.