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VHAN’s RN Care Navigators Coordinate Caregiver Support to Improve Patient Experience

When a fragile relative returns home after a hospital stay, family members may be left to provide care they don’t have the experience to deliver, leading to physical and emotional distress. This was the case for a wife who didn’t understand how to manage her husband’s complex needs. VHAN RN Care Navigator Martha Merry stepped in with empathy and expertise. “She was in tears,” Merry says. “The first thing I told her was, ‘We’re going to help you. We are going to figure this out and I’m here for you.’” Read the full story to learn how the VHAN Care Navigation team assisted this family.

On the Road to Heart Health: How One VHAN Pharmacist Used a Patient’s Love for Motorcycles to Rev Up His Medication Adherence

VHAN Clinical Pharmacist Lyndi Tarr knows how important it is to speak a patient’s language and relate to them as an individual. Recently, Tarr put this truth into practice when she veered off the usual path to help a patient who was struggling with medication adherence following a lengthy hospitalization.

Read the full story to learn how Lyndi tapped into a patient’s personal interests to help him understand his medications and improve his adherence.

Tips for Prescribing Insulin to Prevent Problems at the Pharmacy

Every January, many health plans change their preferred insulin products on their formularies, creating confusion and frustration for patients, prescribers and pharmacies. A few simple strategies can help make this shift more efficient for providers and patients. Read the full article to learn how you can tweak your prescribing practices to reduce delays and ensure your patients get the medications they need.

Tools to Address Cancer Screening Rates at Your Practice 

Studies show that cancer screenings have declined since the pandemic disrupted health care in 2020, and they haven’t yet returned to pre-pandemic levels. Unfortunately, this will cause fewer cases of cancer and other serious illnesses to be caught early, likely creating sicker patients in the long run. VHAN has tools and resources available to help members increase cancer screening rates and educate patients about their importance.

State Program Available to Train Community Health Workers

In 2023, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing received a $3 million Health Resources and Services Administration grant to create a certification and training program for CHWs in Tennessee. The initiative, formed in partnership with the Tennessee Community Health Worker Association and Rural Health Association of Tennessee, is called the Community Health Worker Training Program of Tennessee (CHWTPT). Read the full article to learn more about how you can participate.

VHAN Social Worker Provides Medication Coordination to Improve Patient Care

As manager of the VHAN Social Work team, social worker Cate Mart and her team members regularly check on patients after a hospital stay, whether they have transitioned home or to a rehabilitation center or skilled nursing facility. These social workers provide an added layer of support to ensure the patient can manage their care outside of the hospital. While it’s a regular part of Mart’s job, a recent call was not so routine. Read the full story to learn more.

VHAN Adult Behavioral Health Consult Line Connects New Mother to Vital Mental Health Care

When a new mom arrived for her first postpartum checkup, both her nurse and physician noticed that she seemed listless, depressed and strangely detached from her newborn. When the young mother expressed suicidal thoughts, the team recognized a severe case of postpartum depression and took action immediately. Under different circumstances, the doctor might have recommended visiting a local emergency room, but a call to VHAN’s Adult Behavioral Health Consultation line led to an alternative, and possibly lifesaving, approach.  

miniVHAN Podcast Wraps Up Behavioral Health Series, Reveals Upcoming Episode

To bolster mental health awareness and education, the miniVHAN podcast chose Behavioral Health Through the Lifespan for its recent series. Expert guests offered insights to help providers and their patients better understand and cope with anxiety and depression, neurodiversity, trauma and grief.  

If you’ve missed any of the episodes, catch up on miniVHANpodcast.com.

3 Key Medication Adherence Tips

Medication adherence is a key driver of patient outcomes. Any medication therapy is ineffective if the patient cannot access or take it consistently. In addition, adherence is a triple-weighted quality measure on Medicare Advantage (MA) contracts. To help VHAN practices improve medication adherence this year and place a greater year-round focus on this crucial quality measure, the VHAN Pharmacy Team recommends three strategies.

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