Meet AHP Care Manager John ScrutonJuly 30th, 2015 | News
A critical component of AHP’s mission is to partner with physicians and support their efforts to deliver care to patients. The network’s care management program was developed to do just that, and since its inception earlier this year, AHP has funded the placement of many care managers into community-based practices requesting such support. These RN care managers are responsible for working with the practice teams in which they are embedded to support physicians in meeting quality metrics and to assist with both patient-centered medical home and Arcadia implementation. Our care managers also play an essential role in coordinating care between specialists and primary care providers for those high-risk patients living with multiple chronic conditions, and skillful transitions care for patients discharged from the hospital, emergency department, and/or rehabilitation facilities.
To help AHP providers understand further how our program supports provider efforts to deliver care, we will be profiling a number of our care managers in Network News to share their stories about their work.
John Scruton, RN, BSN began as the AHP care manager for His Branches Health Services in March 2015. John earned his baccalaureate degree in nursing at Pensacola Christian College in 2009. He is currently completing degree requirements toward his Master’s in Public Health at the University of Rochester. Anticipating graduation in spring 2016, John’s thesis is focused on understanding how vulnerable populations navigate the fragmentation inherent in our health care system.
John reflects on his nursing and complex care management experience as follows:
I was educated at a private college in Florida where excellence and holistic nursing care were heavily emphasized. I remained in the area after graduation and worked at a local hospital where I dove into the world of medical surgical oncology. It was there that I gained an appreciation for care that reaches beyond a set of doctor’s orders. Understanding the patient clinically and then seeing where he or she could be with judicious help and extra attention made an impression on me. Once I moved to New York, I took a position in bone marrow transplant nursing at Wilmot Cancer Institute, where a culture of excellence, caring, and shared responsibility prevailed. I think the greatest lessons learned there were that no one is truly unreachable, and no one should ever be knowingly left in the cracks. If you see an issue, you own that issue, even if it isn’t your patient.
Once I joined the AHP care management/ His Branches team, I continued to build upon my skills by focusing on those having difficulty remaining engaged in their medical plan of care. Helping patients to do those things that they cannot do for themselves as well as tapping into their motivations and values in the service of realizing their health goals lies at the heart of good care management. It is important to understand the bigger picture of a patient’s life outside of the 20 minutes or so that a physician sees them. There is a life that goes on outside of the walls in which practitioners practice, and a great need to incorporate key aspects of that life into a workable care plan. Engaging patients to keep appointments and co-create their plans of care (with our team), establishing agreement with following prescribed medication and treatment regimens, and the like are all sign posts on a journey toward health that I attempt to bolster based on a patient’s needs and preferences. Through both patience and persistence, we go along on this journey, coordinating appointments, sending reminders, collaborating with specialists and outside organizations, in an effort to reach a place where we are all working in concert to support patients in reaching their highest level of health possible.
Care management may take the form of a phone call, face-to-face office, or home visit where I explore with patients what they understood from their appointment with our office, or from that of a specialist. In the event they lack understanding, I either locate educational materials and engage them with it, or I work with the appropriate party to follow up with the patient to answer questions and clarify misunderstandings. The work often requires going the extra mile for patients while staying mindful that there are myriad ways to improve patient experiences and further engage patients in their care.
All in all, care managers do what we do because we genuinely care about the people we assist. It is a partnership based on excellence and reliability, and one that makes a tangible, compassionate, and measurable difference in the lives of the patients entrusted to our care.
Look for more care manager profiles in upcoming issues of Network News. Questions about how AHP can support practices with our care management program? Contact Daryl Sharp at [email protected]