Top Patient Stories 2022
As 2022 comes to a close, we are reflecting on some of this year’s most impactful patient stories. This year alone, Engooden care navigators helped patients manage more than 60 unique chronic conditions and performed more than 600,000 interventions on behalf of their patients. Here are a few stand-out stories:
Heart Attack Prevention
I was discussing exercise with one of my patients when he noted an alarming symptom: every time he walks, he experiences chest pain that radiates to both of his shoulders and arms. I asked a bunch of follow-up questions before we agreed that I would call his primary care physician’s office while he would reach out to his cardiologist and explain the issue. Later that day, his PCP touched base with the cardiologist, and scheduled my patient for the next day.
During the appointment, it was determined he needed to undergo a cardiac catheterization procedure. He called me from the hospital the next day to let me know that he needed three stents placed in his heart and was prescribed a combination of medication and aspirin to lower his risk of heart attack and stroke.
“My heart was in really bad shape, and I was a candidate for a big heart attack if you didn’t hone in on the one thing I was dismissing. Thank you and good job.” I’m thankful he felt comfortable discussing it with me and it goes to show the importance of building relationships with our patients.
During a monthly outreach call with one of my patients, his wife asked if she could speak with me. Following his office visit in July for vascular issues, the pharmacy called to let them know that his new prescription was ready for pick-up but warned that it could have negative interactions with his existing medication. They were confused because he was never informed that he would have a new medication added to his regimen. He picked up the medication two weeks prior to our call but was afraid to take it.
I reviewed the office notes from his vascular evaluation and could not find any reference to a new prescription, so I asked his wife if I could have a few minutes while I called the office. The nurse I spoke with agreed with my assessment – something wasn’t right – and she contacted the provider for clarification. I notified my patient that he should hear from the office before the end of the day.
A few minutes after our call ended, my patient called me back, thanking me for being there. His doctor personally reached out to my patient to apologize and let him know that a mistake was made: this new medication should never have been prescribed. My patient and his wife were both so thankful. They were worried for weeks and couldn’t find any answers, only for it to be resolved in a matter of minutes after calling me.
Weight Loss and Reduced A1c
When I started working with this patient back in May, he had several health concerns. He wanted to lose weight and lower both his A1c and blood pressure. He was worried because he needed shoulder surgery, but his endocrinologist advised him that he wouldn’t be approved for the surgery until he lowered his A1c. After hearing this, he asked me to help him order a glucometer so that he could monitor his blood sugar at home. I coordinated with his PCP to make this happen.
With a lot of encouragement and education, he began his weight-loss journey. He immediately started his hard work by cutting back on carbs and sugars. Each month, he updated me on his weight loss, as well as improved blood pressure and blood sugar.
After a few short months, he was able to come off both his diabetes and hypertension medications. He lost 25lbs in total, lowered his A1c to from 9.2 to 6.3, and lowered his blood pressure, too. Not only is he feeling better, but he is now approved for his shoulder surgery. I am so proud of my patient. He never gave up and was determined to improve his health. He would text and call me multiple times a month just so I could cheer him on. This is one of the many reasons why my job is so rewarding.