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SHA Care Coordinators change patient care

Patient Perry Hall knows one thing about his Baptist Select Health Alliance Care Coordinator, Melissa Bateman.

“She knows me better than I know myself.” said Perry.

Melissa understands the sentiment. “After a few calls you can’t help but feel like family. I try to get to know my patients and better understand the real barriers that keep them from reaching their health goals,” said Melissa.

At 66, the Union County, Mississippi, native suffers from advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), requiring ongoing care and treatment. About two years ago when Baptist began the care coordination program, Perry received a call from Melissa.

“She called me one day and introduced herself. She calls me regularly to check on my care.”

For patients like Perry, navigating the complex landscape of equipment, appointments, medicine and doctors when living with a chronic condition can be daunting. Care coordinators can add another layer of care and service for these patients. Patients can also be reassured that the care coordination relationship is completely confidential.

Over time, Melissa has helped Perry follow up on appointments, get a portable oxygen tank and set appointments. “She helped me find the lowest price for a portable oxygen concentrator. She’s been a real joy and pleasure.”

As a lifelong smoker who worked in farming and factories, Perry realizes the need for ongoing care—and help. “I’d tell anyone….if someone like Melissa reaches out to you, definitely use them.”

While the two have never met in person, the regular phone calls have built a solid, trusting relationship.

The trend of care coordination has grown to help patients navigate the health care system. Baptist’s care coordinators offer patients continued support and guidance when needed most as Melissa described.

“My goal is to make sure they have the tools and resources they need to self-manage, stay healthy, and out of the hospital. I just try to be their personal cheerleader. I think we all can benefit from having someone to help us stay focus and on track!”

Suzanne Porteous-Harvey, system director of Select Health Alliance Care Coordination

Baptist team members can also access Baptist’s Select Health Alliance Care Coordination program.  “Helping team members and patients manage their chronic conditions so they stay out of the hospital and emergency department is very rewarding. Our goal is to have them enjoy as healthy a life as possible,” said Suzanne Porteous-Harvey, system director of Select Health Alliance Care Coordination.

Care coordination is all about putting the patient at the center of care. “It’s a sincere effort to walk a day in a patient’s life and understand their true needs. It’s patient-centered care in action, and we can see the true human value of Melissa’s work,” said Dr. Henry Sullivant, Baptist’s chief medical officer.

To learn more about Select Health Alliance Care Coordination, contact Melissa Bateman at 901-415-3381 or Nancy Owen at 901-415-3382; or email care@selecthealthalliance.com