To get and stay well, patients need education on their conditions and what it means for them personally once they leave their doctor’s office and return home. This part of the wellness journey is where they’re joined by providers from Alegis Care.
15 minutes: the typical time a patient spends with their primary care provider during an office visit.
Imagine for a moment you’re a patient being told that you have a chronic health condition like diabetes or heart disease. In just 15 minutes, your doctor gives you an overview of the disease, explains any prescriptions you need to keep your condition under control and mentions lifestyle changes you should make. Oh, and you should schedule your next follow-up visit or appointment with a specialist before you leave the office.
You leave the doctor’s office – with informational materials about your diagnosis, a new prescription(s) and likely feeling a little scared – and immediately start questioning what your doctor told you to do.
And, no wonder! That’s a lot of information for anyone to absorb in 15 minutes! It’s easy to understand how people may unintentionally not adhere to their care plan.
One of many variables that may lead to a patient not following doctor’s orders to manage their disease is health literacy – or a person’s understanding of health and the health care system. They may need a little extra help understanding their condition, lifestyle considerations, importance of taking medication as prescribed and importance of follow-up visits.
Alegis Care is another part of the journey
Here’s where Alegis Care providers help guide patients through the next part of their journey to get and stay well. They visit patients in their homes to help them better understand the changes that accompany a newly diagnosed condition. They talk through how to best adopt necessary lifestyle changes, provide education, chart out a wellness plan, help navigate access to care and other resources, monitor health and wellness progress, and provide motivation and accountability. By visiting patients in the comfort of their home, they’re able to get a better understanding of any potential barriers to getting and staying healthy.
When Thelma, an Alegis Care bilingual/ Spanish-speaking nurse practitioner in Texas, met with a Spanish-speaking only patient recently diagnosed with diabetes, it was quickly apparent that health literacy was a barrier. The patient was not taking the medications meant to control her diabetes, hadn’t made recommended lifestyle changes, was gaining weight, had unmanaged insulin levels and wasn’t keeping follow-up appointments.
Over the course of several in-home appointments and check-in calls, Thelma helped the patient and her family understand:
- what diabetes is and how it impacts the body
- how using medication as prescribed helps manage the disease
- the benefits of making different nutrition choices and increasing activity
- the importance of regular follow-up visits to monitor condition
- when to call their Alegis Care provider for assistance
Thelma also coordinated closely with the patient’s primary care provider, providing significant changes in health condition and notifying the physician when medication needed to be changed.
The investment of additional time in the patient’s home environment and phone check-ins made a significant impact. She’s now managing her diabetes by eating healthier, walking regularly, taking medicine appropriately and keeping scheduled appointments. These changes also helped reduce her number of prescriptions from three to two.
This is a great example of how we get a better understanding of patients’ needs in order to wrap care around the whole person and ensure they aren’t alone in any part of their health and wellness journey. We’re with them all the way.