During American Pharmacists Month this October, Optime Care is highlighting the role that both pharmacists and care coordinators play in our health, communities and lives—especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
From the moment they are diagnosed, patients benefit from Optime Care’s dedicated care coordinators who help them gain quick and affordable access to the prescribed drug and support them through every step of their treatment.
This year we are sharing insights from our very own Ebone Clark, Natanya (Tanya) Draper and Angela (Angie) Embree, three seasoned healthcare professionals and outstanding care coordinators, who discuss how a patient-first approach prioritizes the needs of every patient to ensure they can achieve the best possible health outcomes.
“Patient-first means prioritizing the patient’s needs and wants and being very responsive about helping them access meaningful care,” says Ebone. “We also work with patients to understand their insurance coverage, financial needs and the financial assistance programs that they may be eligible for. This boosts compliance and positive outcomes.”
Building Patient Relationships
Optime Care’s patient-first model enables care coordinators to untangle the steep challenges that specialty patients face every day, providing much-needed, ongoing support.
Tanya states, “At Optime Care it literally means putting the patient first, making a connection with them and building a solid relationship. This approach is so different and far better than any other organization I have worked for, especially for rare disease patients.”
Our care coordinators go above and beyond to connect with patients. They share stories and really get to know each patient, becoming friends and, in some cases, almost like a member of the patient’s family. Building this level of rapport helps patients feel heard, respected and supported during a challenging time.
“It’s helpful for me to really know what’s happening with our patients at all times,” says Angie. “In my previous positions, I’d often wonder when and if I should contact a patient. At Optime Care, it’s different because I’m there with the patient every step of the way. It’s a unique and gratifying role to play.”
Consistent Care=Better Outcomes
All three care coordinators enjoy being a part of the patient’s “big picture,” from the moment the patient enrolls to when they may need a major procedure or change in medication.
“This one-to-one contact has an enormously positive impact on the patient’s clinical outcome,” says Angie. “This is a big contrast compared to retail pharmacy where they focus on seeing as many people as possible, treating them like customers or a number rather than vulnerable patients with a serious illness. The best part of working at Optime Care is my consistent contact with the patient, which is important because I have so much compassion to give them.”
Our care coordinators ensure smooth transitions, rather than letting the patient bounce around to various people and feeling uncertain of the next steps.
Ebone adds, “The connection and consistency we bring fosters a sense of loyalty and trust among patients and provides a strong support system. They know we have their backs. They also know that they can come to us if, for instance, they have a difficult question their doctor can’t answer. Our pharmacists are highly informative and experts in rare, specialized diseases.”
All three care coordinators share stories of bonding with patients and being praised by patients constantly for provider a personal touch, rather than, say, a lengthy automated message about something as important as a medication change.
Tanya concludes, “I’ve had patients tell me that my efforts have changed their life for the better and that they really appreciate the value that our care coordination has added to their patient experience.”
This October, join us in acknowledging the accomplishments of pharmacists and care coordinators, share stories and spread the word about the valuable services pharmacists offer.
To learn more about how our patient-first approach minimizes the daily impact of living with orphan and rare disorders and tailors a proactive service experience for each patient, visit here.