Care coordinators put focus on patients’ wellness benefits

Published 12:10 am Wednesday, October 4, 2017

LUTCHER — St. James Parish Hospital recently welcomed care coordinators Kirby Folse and Nili Rougee to the clinic staff to help better serve patients and manage chronic conditions across the continuum of care.

Folse and Rougee have served patients at St. James Parish Hospital through their previous roles as inpatient nurses. Their new roles allow them to help ensure patients are taking advantage of wellness benefits.

Through these benefits, such as annual wellness visits, they will identify patients with chronic conditions and work with each patient’s primary care physician to develop personalized care plans to improve their overall health over time.

The Care Coordinators help their patients seamlessly navigate the health care system. They will be notified when their patients visit the ER or if their patient is hospitalized so information surrounding their visit can be relayed to the patient’s primary care doctor. This will allow the care team to reassess each patient’s care plan moving forward.

The hospital is investing in care coordination to improve patient satisfaction, quality of care and clinical outcomes. Better managed care and ongoing relationships with patients with chronic conditions also leads to fewer readmissions, ER visits and unnecessary tests—each potentially resulting in reduced healthcare costs.

This new model of care has been embraced by the hospital’s Family Practice Physicians. With their support, Care Coordinators are working to schedule wellness visits with patients. During this visit, the Care Coordinators will get necessary health histories and schedule screenings. The visit will conclude with a visit by the patient’s physician who will use the information acquired to make recommendations.

“I’m most excited that I will be able to help patients get on a healthy path and hopefully extend their lifespan so they have more time with their family,” Folse said. “Patients can expect to have someone help them get their lives on a healthy path through yearly wellness visits where they will receive encouragement and planning.”

Rougee said the new position takes her nursing career to the next level.

“Patients can expect to receive quality care and the resources they need and deserve to lead a healthy life,” she said. “I feel together we can succeed with one goal in common—quality care and patient satisfaction.”